Three-quarters of Australians quizzed in a poll said they do not support the whipping of horses in racing, a University of Sydney-led study has found.
The study was published last month in PLOS ONE.
Most of those identified as racing enthusiasts said they would continue to attend or gamble on racing if the whip was banned. Only one in eight of those racing fans said they would no longer watch or bet if the rules did not allow a horse to be whipped for purposes other than jockey safety.
The study used anonymised data from a recent independent survey commissioned, but not administered, by RSPCA Australia. It explored the level of support for the whipping of racehorses, and the proportion of racing enthusiasts who would stop gambling if horses were not whipped.
Of the 1,533 respondents from across the country, only 25 per cent (113 women and 271 men) supported the whipping of racehorses.
“Globally, racing organisations may consider the findings of the present study helpful in their deliberations on the merits of continuing the practice of whipping tired horses in the name of sport,” the authors of the study concluded.