DURBAN - A plea made by the National Horseracing authority (NHA) to government to keep the horse racing industry alive during the lockdown has been unsuccessful - a move which could result in the country's biggest horse racing event - the Durban July being cancelled.
The submission by the NHA was made to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) and to the Department of Trade and Industry.
“Our submissions thus far demonstrate our commitment and alignment to government’s interventions in an attempt to preserve lives, flatten the curve, protect jobs and also stimulate the racing economy. Subsequently, our submissions were forwarded to the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) and thereafter the National Coronavirus Command Council,” it said in the statement.
However, the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) had deemed it a non- essential service but allowed care of animals to be permitted.
“Having considered the regulations from an agricultural perspective and taking into account the weight of all other submissions from stakeholders, it was determined that racing would not be provided for under agriculture Level 4, except from an animal care perspective,"
With the fate of the horse racing industry uncertain at this point in time, one of the country’s biggest horse racing spectacles, the Vodacom Durban July, could be cancelled.
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