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  1. #1
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    Feb 2012
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    Default Of some concern...

    A some of you might have guessed, I am somewhat big on research, and supportive of equine research in Australia. It was with some concern that I read todays Editorial by Chris Hector in The Horse Magazine (April, 2012, page 14).

    Hector describes how the RSPCA and Paul McGreevy effectively ganged up on barrier attendant at the Warrnambool races. He was charged with animal cruelty after a horse severely injured itself (broken leg) during a race. The attendant was forced to make a very difficult decision regarding removing the horse from the track to prevent other horses crashing into it on the second lap, or worse still, the horse rejoining the field with a broken leg.

    A horrible decision that had to be made very quickly.

    McGreevy's argument was that the field could have been diverted around the horse, and that the horses flight response had been effectively restrained by the jockey making it walk in tight circles around him.

    Hmmmm. Horse with broken leg, other horses running a full tilt, bearing down on jockey and horse with broken leg. Barrier attendant gets horse off track. A horrible situation, that could have been made a lot worse if the horse had remained on the track.

    Until reading this, I had (in general) been a supporter of McGreevy and his work. Like many on this forum, I filled in the recent questionnaire about what kind of horse people preferred.

    Not any more.

    McGreevy's support of the RSPCA obviously has a subtext. The RSPCA wants to get rid of jumps racing, and has taken to having individuals charged and run through courts of law to prove a point. Of particular concern is McGreevy's utter lack of common sense given the circumstances described above. Having seen academic vets up close though (many of whom were simply failed vets who couldn't handle working with animals, either physically or emotionally), it doesn't surprise me. Some of the biggest mistakes I ever saw with animals have been through incompetent vets.

    What next? Think of all the ways that you, either in your everyday existence with horses, or at a competition you could be charged if something went catastrophically wrong.

    I have been following this debate for some time - and I am aware of the tactics that the RSPCA in England employed to further their finances (type "rspca inheritance battle" into google and see what comes up).

    Very obviously, the RSPCA, with McGreevy as their horse behaviour "expert" has declared that jumps racing will be ended. Very likely, eventing will be next on their radar, then jumping and dressage.

    Then maybe we won't be allowed to have any horses at all.

    So - me personally? I will no longer support McGreevy, or his associates in any way, shape or form. No filling out of questionnaires, no attendance at conferences, no support personally, professionally or in any fora. I may well decide to write to the Australian Research Council with my concerns (which is where his research credibility and funds largely come from), as well as the Animal Ethics Committee at his University, and the relevant state Vet Registration Board.

    No financial or any other support for the RSPCA either (I have one of their rescue dogs currently parked at my feet). There are many other animal charities who do good work. My money, time and respect will go to them instead.

    No one wants cruel treatment of any animal. But such litigation is not about preventing cruel treatment, but rather a political and financial agenda carried out in a very hamfisted and wrongful manner.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    country SA
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    Default

    It's a little unclear above,
    But Mr McGreevy is
    'Paul McGreevy is Senior Lecturer in Animal Behavior at the University of Sydney's Faculty of Veterinary Science' from his 2005 book, Equine Behavior
    A GUIDE FOR VETERINARIANS AND EQUINE SCIENTISTS. Paul McGreevy, BVSc, PhD

    He seems a scientist of credibility, perhaps there is more to the story?
    '..his neigh is like the bidding of a monarch and his countenance enforces homage.'
    Shakespeare

  3. #3
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    Jul 2009
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    Default

    I don't know what to say. I have a horse and a cat who are RSPCA rescues. Particularly in the case of the horse (Bella) the RSPCA was wonderful. Plenty of sheep in my area who would say a big thank you to the RSPCA too.

    Happy to see jumps racing ended - far too many deaths - and injuries that we know not the results. Grammar. Sorry.

    I think it's a huge stretch to think that eventing and show-jumping and dressage will be targetted just because jumps racing is banned ....

    The RSPCA is out there actually doing. Other animal refuges are just that - animal refuges. They don't actually have to front up.

    The RSPCA people have to go to properties and remove animals and/or enforce conditions ... remember one was shot dead?

    I will have to read the THM article of course .... sounds like somebody screwed up ... but I seriously dislike so much criticism of the RSPCA whose hands are tied so numbingly by our stupid laws.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2007
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    Queensland, Australia.
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    People and organisationss should not attempt to interfere in situations they do not fully understand! The RSPCA target racing because of the publicity they gain. The outcomes from many of their prosecutions don't make headlines. They are wasting way too much money in their attempts to persecute racing and the people in it, this money could be used for the real victims of animal cruelty.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2012
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Harriette View Post
    It's a little unclear above,
    But Mr McGreevy is
    'Paul McGreevy is Senior Lecturer in Animal Behavior at the University of Sydney's Faculty of Veterinary Science' from his 2005 book, Equine Behavior
    A GUIDE FOR VETERINARIANS AND EQUINE SCIENTISTS. Paul McGreevy, BVSc, PhD

    He seems a scientist of credibility, perhaps there is more to the story?
    I would suggest that there is. I would suggest that his first degree is vet sic, and he has taken a research route (which also happens to be what the Australian Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty has done).

    The Horse Mag has it's own synopsis, but here is a link to the article http://www.theage.com.au/sport/horse...229-1u3dr.html

    I have worked with many vets in my professional career. I have worked with vets in the Veterinary Pharmaceutical Industry, in ecological studies overseas, within the Australian and American University sector, and personally, with my own animals.

    I have not worked with McGreevy personally. But his comments on the efforts of the barrier attendant suggest someone who is not really comfortable at a practical level with horses. In fact, if the barrier attendant had done what McGreevy suggested, I am certain the outcome would have been a lot worse.

    Many of the questions and comments put up on this forum relate to training our neddies. Often simple, straightforward stuff. The barrier attendant had to make some quick decisions to prevent further catastrophe. What would you do if a horse broke its leg in the middle of a racetrack with other horses about to come around the turn??

    How would you feel if you were then charged with animal cruelty, supported by a an academic scientist who thinks that if you circle a horse around you (one with a broken leg) in the middle of a race that all will be good? That somehow, the other racing horses can be diverted and race past, and nothing will be made worse?

    I'd ask McGreevy to prove his worth, to do his experiment, and personally stand in the middle of a racetrack, and ask, in real time, that the horses be made to divert around him.

    But I'd call the ambulance first, to let them know what was about to happen.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2009
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    Default

    What is your point, Linon? Happy to hear you, but not understanding the point you are trying to make - or what good you expect do come of it.

  7. #7
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    May 2008
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    victoria.
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    97

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fair Embrace View Post
    People and organisationss should not attempt to interfere in situations they do not fully understand! The RSPCA target racing because of the publicity they gain. The outcomes from many of their prosecutions don't make headlines. They are wasting way too much money in their attempts to persecute racing and the people in it, this money could be used for the real victims of animal cruelty.
    I agree....the RSPCA turn a blind eye too often when no publicity is to be gained.....and here we go again on the jumps racing bandwagon....

    I will never support the RSPCA while it wastes so much money hounding jumps racing....

    What about the wealthy so called horse breeders who put their in foal mares down the back paddock and dont look at them for months on end.....I know quite a few of these so called breeders....they dont check them, and they dont care. Skinny underfed mares, bones sticking out, and they are expected to produce a foal that is a winner....They should be the ones the RSPCA go after.

    Not some attendant who in a split second was trying to do his best to avoid a major accident.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2009
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    Hunter Valley NSW
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    Hidden agendas everywhere I reckon. I have a passing acquaintance with Paul and he is a horse rider and interested in dressage. I think it is a long bow to tie stopping jump racing with stopping all horse activities. Unless we are talking PETA .

    Haven't read the article so cannot comment on this particular circumstance

  9. #9
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    country SA
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    Default

    Perhaps he has been called in as the expert witness, to offer his eminent view,
    Pretty standard
    Doesn't mean he has a bent either way, I would have thought.
    Surely an impartial, disinterested expert is preferred,
    Perhaps that is all he is.

    I don't know that academic merit is a killer of horse savvy.
    He can have some interesting ideas, Dr Miller doesn't rock everyone's boat either.
    Things are rarely black and white, how ever much our brain needs them to be.
    '..his neigh is like the bidding of a monarch and his countenance enforces homage.'
    Shakespeare

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    179

    Default

    Well I read The Age article. And if I was Mr Duff I'd be sueing the pants of the RSPCA and McGreevy.

    How is it cruelty to allow a horse to hop off the racetrack holding it's leg up and therefore preventing the risk of another accident but it is the right thing to do to allow the horse to hop around you in a circle in the middle of the track while the rest of the field bare down?

    In either case the horse has a broken leg - that has already happened. And the amount of pain the horse experiences having the leg swinging because it is broken is no more than it does having it swinging because it is hopping out of the way.

    When the hindleg is broken the horse can very successfully weight the forelegs and hop on one hind leg - it might be sad and ugly but it is the normal thing for a horse to do in those circumstances. It is actually harder for them to move with a broken foreleg.

    But in the horse's case the PAIN isn't greater than with a ruptured tendon or for some horses a hoof abscess.

    Treating the attendent so brutally was the worst kind of bullying by the RSPCA and McGreevy and shouldn't be countenanced under any circumstances.
    It's the rain, the rain and the wind that have driven me here.

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