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Hakol Chai Activists Demonstrate at the Racecourse in Gilboa

Press Release







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April 5, 2005, Tel Aviv


Dozens of Hakol Chai activists demonstrated throughout the day in front of the racecourse in Gilboa, where horseraces were held.


The demonstrators protested against the races and the plan to institutionalize the horseracing industry for gambling purposes in Israel. Concurrently, they distributed information on the subject to those attending the event. Dressed up as horses, equipped with signs and with a mobile "crime scene," the demonstrators illustrated to the public that the event is not an "entertainment" but rather a bloody industry.


Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills


The police officers who secured the event attempted at first to limit the demonstrators' movement at the entrance to the event, fencing off an area for them. Following discussions with the commanding officer on site, the police acceded and allowed the demonstrators to exercise their right to demonstrate, to present the display they had brought to the site, and to speak their piece.


Not many racegoers attended the event, and those who did were provided substantial professional information from Hakol Chai activists. Following the dialog initiated between the visitors and the demonstrators, an interesting phenomenon ensued: there were a considerable number of children among those attending the event, and once they heard what the demonstrators had to say about the suffering caused to horses within the racing industry, they refused to attend the event. In light of the children's firm refusal to attend the event, several families left.


The public activity against the horseracing industry for gambling purposes is being conducted also against the backdrop of an important precedent set about a week ago in a U.S. court, according to which the slaughtering of horses for meat in the U.S. constitutes a violation of American law. That is, while western countries are tightening prohibitions on the industrial abuse of animals, Israel intends to adopt another evil, in the image of the horse racing industry.


The introduction of the horseracing industry in Israel is expected to cause horses great suffering. Professional research from world-renowned universities exposes the bitter truth. Only one-third of the horses who are born into the racing industry succeed in actually reaching the races themselves. Orthopedic diseases, broken bones, and respiratory problems are only some of the health problems affecting a large percentage of the horses. These cause the horses to collapse and many of them to be sent to slaughter for the meat industry.


The activity against the plan to institutionalize the horseracing industry in Israel is at its peak these days also on the legal level. Hakol Chai is preparing for the High Court of Justice's deliberation on the organization's appeal against the government's plan to introduce the horseracing industry for gambling purposes in Israel, scheduled to be heard by the High Court of Justice in one week, on April 11, 2007.