Jumps racing ban made law in SA

Tim Dornin |

South Australia’s parliament has passed legislation to ban jumps racing in the state.
South Australia’s parliament has passed legislation to ban jumps racing in the state.

Legislation to ban jumps racing in South Australia has passed state parliament in a move hailed by animal welfare activists.

The Labor government on Thursday supported a Greens bill ensuring its passage through the lower house, with Greens MP Tammy Franks declaring the new laws would put an end to a “barbaric practice”.

“The writing has been on the wall for some time, and we have now handed certainty to the industry that jumps racing is well and truly over in our state,” she said.

“We have known for a long time that jumps racing is dangerous for both horses and jockeys. 

“The best thing that can be done for jumps racing is to put an end to it. This is a massive day for those who value animal welfare in our state.”

The RSPCA said the legislation followed Racing SA’s announcement last October there would be no jumps races held this year.

The organisation’s animal welfare advocate Rebekah Eyers said the new laws would also be good for racing’s future.

“We know that many involved in horse racing are pleased with this decision because for too long the high number of injuries and deaths resulting from jumps have stained the whole industry,” Dr Eyers said.

“The jumps racing season in Victoria so far has only added to the mountain of evidence that this activity needed to end.”

Victoria is now the only state to hold jumps events.

Queensland stopped jumps racing in 1903, WA in 1941 and the sport was banned in NSW in 1997.

The last race in Tasmania was held in 2007.

Announcing government support for the ban this week, Deputy Premier Susan Close said while jumps races were once an intrinsic part of the racing industry, they had fallen out of favour with the number of falls and deaths of horses now considered unacceptable.

“The time for this industry has now elapsed,” Ms Close said.

“Over time we’ve come to realise that jumps racing is not only uneconomic, it’s regarded by the vast majority of the public as cruel and does reputational damage to the broader racing industry.”

The SA ban does not prohibit South Australian trainers from training jumps horses to race in Victoria.

Nor does it affect showjumping or equestrian events.