Wild goat racing is a ‘sport’ that involves capturing wild goats, auctioning them off, dragging them across a raceway, harnessing them to a cart, and forcing them to race. Animal Liberation investigators have witnessed this as one of the cruelest animal abusing ‘sports’ in Australia.
As the goats and riders are released, chaos erupts, leaving goats, children, and adults subject to injury. The entire process of this ‘entertainment’ places a great amount of stress upon the animals involved.
Fear and Injuries
As the goats are wild, they are not accustomed to humans or physical constraints (the harness), inflicting fear and stress upon the animal. To restrain or move the goats, handlers hold onto or tie ropes to the tips of the horns, which can cause them to break. Others have been found to pull the goat by their skin.
Once the race begins, some goats collapse to the ground with fright, while others attempt to escape, crashing head first into fences, leaving some bleeding and others knocked unconscious. From the investigations, the goats appear to be re-used in a number of heats. As the events continue, the animals only become more difficult to handle and struggle to avoid further involvement. Many showed signs of exhaustion by collapsing.
As these animals are wild, they have not been trained to pull a cart, which is dangerous to their wellbeing. A trained goat should only pull a maximum of one and a half times its own weight, when it is evenly distributed. As adults are known to sit in the carts, the goats body endures a severe amount of physical strain and stress, as there is a large weight disparity.
Vets claimed that our footage showed evidence of cruelty to animals, as well as more serious, aggravated cruelty to animals.
Involvement of Children
Children from four years of age are encouraged to be ‘jockeys’, placing them at risk of injuries. Children were seen laying on the ground in the foetal positions while attempting to tend to their injuries after they had fallen from the carts, while scared goats run wildly around them. All the while, the crowd cheers.
Involving children in such an abusive, cruel ‘sport’, fosters this idea that humans can be insensitive to animals, reducing their empathy for the animal’s pain and suffering. Research in psychology and criminology has shown that people who commit acts of cruelty towards animals, often go on to commit violent acts towards humans.