Ban Animal Trading, demonstrate their concern about the plight of the horses raced at the Vodacom Durban July in 2018. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/ African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) on Tuesday called upon the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) legislature’s conservation and environmental affairs portfolio committee to investigate allegations that horses used in the 2019 Durban July horse-racing spectacle were subjected to "unethical training methods, illegal stimulants and horrific injuries and deaths".

IFP spokesperson on conservation and environmental affairs, Joshua Mazibuko, said the demand by the party was contained in the motion that he tabled before Monday's sitting of the provincial legislature in Pietermaritzburg.   

Mazibuko said his motion emanated from a statement from Ban Animal Trading South Africa’s Saihashna Rajkumar who claimed that "behind the glitz and glamour" lay a very dark side to the horse-racing or betting industry of which the general public wasn't aware. 

These include unethical training methods and illegal stimulants, as well as horrific injuries and deaths on the course. Racehorses' lives are tragic from beginning to end.

"These are serious allegations which must be attended to as we cannot allow pursuits for profits to run roughshod over animals and thus threaten our heritage," Mazibuko said.

He said members of the legislature’s conservation and environmental affairs portfolio committee should investigate if the allegations were true and then submit their findings to the legislature.

African News Agency (ANA)