Animal rights activists to protest at ‘horrific’ Durban July

A group of animal rights activists will gather outside Durban’s Greyville Racecourse on Saturday morning to protest against the country’s biggest horse-racing event.

Ban Animal Trading SA activists protest at the Durban July in 2018. They say the glamorous sport has a dark side which includes unethical training methods and horrific injuries and deaths on the course.
Image: Nivashni Nair

Ban Animal Trading SA said the protest was not aimed at bringing the 123rd Vodacom Durban July to a halt.

“Just like last year, the aim of our protest against the Durban July this year is to raise peaceful awareness about the horrific realities of the horse-racing and betting industry in South Africa. We are not going to bring the event to a halt at all, as we believe in creating awareness and encouraging people to make compassionate choices,” the organisation’s Saihashna Rajkumar said.

She said behind the glitz and glamour lay “a very dark side to the horse-racing or betting industry that the general public isn’t aware of”.

“These include unethical training methods and illegal stimulants, and horrific injuries and deaths on the course. Racehorses’ lives are tragic from beginning to end.”

At least 50 people are expected to participate in the peaceful protest.

The annual event is the biggest and most prestigious horse-racing event in the country. It attracts more than 50‚000 people‚ who cram the confines of the racecourse to take in the fashion spectacular‚ entertainment and horse-racing. Millions of others watch  the spectacle on television.

The highly anticipated event attracts first-time attendees, loyal enthusiasts, dignitaries and celebrities.

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