The following statement is attributable to Mr Paul Stevenson, Chief Executive Officer, RSPCA South Australia:
“RSPCA South Australia is shocked and appalled by the horse-punching incident that occurred in Port Lincoln yesterday.
“We consider the two-week suspension handed to the jockey by Thoroughbred Racing SA (TRSA) Stewards to be grossly inadequate, and we are calling on them to immediately review the penalty.
“If TRSA stewards want to send a message they need to hand down a much stiffer penalty. One that reflects the community’s outrage over this incident, and community expectations about how animals deserve to be treated in our modern society.
“We are running a petition on our website, asking South Australians to join our call for an immediate review into the token two-week penalty that TRSA have handed down.
“Our Inspectorate has received a number of complaints from people wishing us to investigate animal cruelty charges in relation to this incident. RSPCA Inspectors are commencing an investigation into the incident. They will be reviewing the vision and all available evidence to determine whether action under the Animal Welfare Act is possible.
“On a state and national level, RSPCA continues to hold serious concerns about the broader welfare of horses involved in the racing industry, including the use of whips, high ‘wastage’ rates, and the continuation of the dangerous sport of jumps racing in South Australia and Victoria.”
Television coverage of the race, which shows the horse being punched.