There are many controversies surrounding horse racing. The main ethical problems include the following: physical abuse, abusive equipment and practices, and life waste. Common physical abuse includes beating with whips. Abusive practices include tongue ties, tail mutilation, doping, and drugging. As far as life waste, many horses are thought of as their race potential and their owners dont have plans for them beyond that. They might not be taken to vets when ill, and once finished racing or injured, may not have a life of peace ahead of them.
The ethical controversy surrounding racehorses mostly involves the age at which they start racing and the excessive pressure it takes to train them well. Racehorses typically start training and competing when they are two years old. This is dangerous because horses don’t fully develop until they are at least five or six. This makes the intense training more harmful because their bones are still growing and prone to fractures.
I don’t think there is any ethical controversy in horse racing except whether or not it should be done. The age at which they run and the way they are treated only matter if you’ve decided that it is ethical to even hold horse races. Today, it was reported in the news that Catalonia was banning bullfighting. While bullfighting has an end goal of harm to the bull, the fact that it was banned recognizes the primary ethical concern, which is that of the role of animals in human life. Are they here for our entertainment?
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