YOUR SAY: Shocking animal cruelty in Monash

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DISTURBING cases of animal cruelty are being regularly reported across Monash, including abandoned, beaten and malnourished pets left for dead.

RSPCA figures show inspectors have attended 398 jobs following animal cruelty reports from Monash in the past two financial years.

In 2011-12, animals that had been beaten or wounded, left to starve or were underweight were the most common call-outs for inspectors.

These followed about 100 reports of insufficient food, water and shelter in 2010-11. Dogs and cats were the animals most likely to be abused.

Wildlife Victoria spokeswoman Amy Amato said the organisation was “deeply concerned” by the number of reports.

We as a society have to seriously evaluate these people who inflict pain and suffering on our wildlife,” Ms Amato said.

In one of the worst cases, a baby brushtail possum was brutally bashed before being wrapped in a plastic bag and dumped in Huntingdale Primary School for students to find in July this year.

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Oakleigh South Wildlife Shelter carer Michelle Phillips said the statistics could be much higher, with many cases going unreported.

“I’d be seeing two to three cases a week where animals have been harmed,” Ms Phillips said.

She said the statistics were a reminder for people buying pets to understand their responsibilities.

RSPCA Victoria senior inspector Daniel Bode encouraged residents to report cases where animals had been harmed.

To report a case of animal cruelty, phone the RSPCA on 9224 2222.

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Champion jockey has seen an incredible 20 mounts die during the last five years

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One of the country’s leading jockeys has had 20 of his horses die during or after races in the past five years, it emerged yesterday.

Fatalities: AP McCoy riding Synchronised at the 2012 Grand National, shortly before their fatal fall

Two other top jockeys have suffered the deaths of 17 and 16 horses respectively over the same period.

The figures, produced by an animal rights group, fuel claims that horse racing is cruel, and should be restricted.

Animal Aid say that the jockeys’ death rates are broadly reflective of those across the entire sport, with the top riders having more deaths just because they have more races.
The figure of 20 was for champion jockey Tony McCoy, whose mount Synchronised died in last month’s Grand National. In the same race, According To Pete also died, leading to a wave of concern about welfare.

At the time, McCoy, one of Britain’s most successful jockeys and BBC Sports Personality of the Year two years ago, said: ‘It is one of those terrible things you wish would never happen.’ He described Synchronised, on which he had won the Gold Cup at Cheltenham in March, as ‘a horse I won’t ever forget’.

Last year alone, McCoy’s mount Kerensa died in a race at Towcester in December, A Stones Throw died after a race at Market Rasen in July, Zarinski also died at Market Rasen in January, and Lethal Glaze died after the races at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day. With the figures suggesting McCoy has ridden in 3,987 races over the past five years, he has lost a horse every 199 races.

Fellow jockeys with high death counts since 2007 include Richard Johnson, with 17 lost horses, and Tom Scudamore, with 16. Animal Aid says Scudamore has lost one horse every 167 races. The group’s director Andrew Tyler said 180 horses died in British race meetings in the past year.

He added: ‘Most people would be shocked that so many horses die after being raced by these top jockeys. However, these jockeys are actually no worse than the average

‘They have accumulated the highest death tallies because they ride a lot of races. The real point is that this kind of attrition rate is typical of all jump racing. The sport is inherently lethal to horses.’

The British Horseracing Authority and the Professional Jockeys’ Association accepted the figures, but defended racing.

Robin Mounsey, of the BHA, said: ‘British racing is among the world’s most regulated of animal activities and we are very open about injuries and fatalities.’ A BHA spokesman said there were 95,000 races run by individual horses in Britain last year. He added: ‘In 2011, the overall equine fatality rate was 0.19 per cent of these 95,000 runners.’

Jockeys’ Association spokesman Paul Struthers said: ‘Leading jockeys will ride far more horses per year than others, so, simply by the law of averages, they are more likely to see some of their mounts suffer fatal injuries.’

  • AP McCoy tops ominous chart, losing one horse for every 199 he has ridden since 2007
  • List compiled by animals rights group to show dangers of racing

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