Russell Herbert Jack, Southland-based yoga guru and voice for animal rights, discusses Auckland Cup Day and the wrongful six horse deaths that have already taken place this year.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding New Zealand’s Auckland Cup Day, and many animal rights activists are referring to the event as FuCup Day. Russell Jack, Southland Yoga Training founder and animal rights activist, says that this annual event supports animal abuse. Six horses have already been killed this year on New Zealand racetracks.
“It is a shame that people glorify animal abuse in this way. This event revolves around dressing up, going to the race track, betting on horse races, and partying while innocent animals are suffering, confronted with high injury risk, and even dying,” said Mr. Jack. “Fashion and entertainment do not have to involve causing harm to these horses, or any animal for that matter. Statistics from this year alone reflect the unfairness that the New Zealand racetracks force upon the horses.”
The Auckland Cup Day takes place at Ellerslie Racecourse, where attendees participate in the day’s activities at the track, including events for children. According to spokespeople for the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) NZ, in addition to the six horses already killed this year, seventy-one injuries have taken place on the New Zealand racetracks, and thirty-seven of those injuries were severe. An even more infuriating fact for animal rights activists is that the industry lacks information on or responsibility for the three thousand New Zealand thoroughbred horses that go unaccounted for each year. Horses also disappear after races due to racing injuries or missing the mark with their speed.
“It is upsetting to know that the number of deaths from this year alone on the track was publically justified as being a part of the type of entertainment. The New Zealand racing industry does not keep a record of which horses exit racing annually, nor which horses never make it to the track who were bred to be there. There is no accountability for these horses’ lives, and something needs to change. We need to create awareness about the reality of what these animals are going through in the name of entertainment. We, as a society, can do better than this.” said Russell Jack.
About Russell Herbert Jack
Russell Herbert Jack is a founder of Southland Yoga Training. He is a yoga and mindfulness teacher from Invercargill, New Zealand. As a devoted practitioner of Vinyasa yoga and Qigong, Russell guides his clients to achieve physical and mental harmony by developing a consistent practice. Russell cares about nature and regularly donates to the protection of endangered species in New Zealand.