Aversive Techniques in Horse Racing

April 29, 2019


The disgraceful case of trainer Darren Weir, charged for possession of illegal electric devices (known as ‘jiggers’) to shock horses, raises the ongoing issue of aversive techniques in horse racing. Jiggers should be banned, but their effectiveness during a race depends on delivering an anticipatory cue from a whip butt to the neck. If we really want to protect horses from aversive treatment, why are we not also banning whip use? We agree with Professor Paul McGreevy that the whipping of horses is just as detrimental to the image of the racing industry.


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