SPCA acts on horses

2010-08-02 00:00

CONCERNS have been raised about the poor conditions of horses participating in the annual Dundee July Horse Racing Festival after it was found that some of the animals had developed saddle sores.

The race took place on Saturday, July 24.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) raised its concern with the Sports and Recreation Department. It requested that the department take care of the horses so that it can continue to host the annual festival.

According to SPCA’s Chris Kuch, two staff members of the national council of the SPCA, Megan Loxton and Mike Allen, attended the festival on the Saturday with an inspector from the Dundee SPCA.

Kuch said there were between 100 and 150 horses at the festival to take part in seven races.

“Some horses had saddle sores while the majority of the animals had ill-fitting bridles and curb chains that had caused severe mouth injuries. It was necessary for us to confiscate the curb chains,” he said.

He said that 10 horses were withdrawn from the race due to injuries.

Mike Mthembu of the Sports and Recreation Department said: “It is unfortunate and sad that the NSPCA has chosen to send a press release without addressing their concerns with the department since they are … stakeholders, and they came to the event having been invited by the department.”

He said the Dundee July has very strict rules, including animal inoculation and registration.

“The impression created that nothing is being done is simply malicious.”

Mthembu added that the Dundee NSPCA, Southern Natal Horse Care Unit, Harness Racing SA and Gold Circle, which were observing, all agree that the quality as well as the welfare of animals have been improving every year.

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