Thursday, 15 March 2012

When does a horse death matter?

Today we learnt that the HBO series 'Luck' has been cancelled. This follows numerous reports of animal actors suffering and the death of a third horse on-set.

According to media reports, the producers made the decision to cancel the show with very heavy hearts and would not have ended production were it not for concern over the deaths.

This made me wonder: when does the death of a horse matter?

While three horses died making the show 'Luck', 11 horses died last year in Australia, performing for people who like to watch horses jumping over hurdles.

Animals Australia documents the fatalities attributable to the Australian jumps racing industry on their website:

Why do we care more about horses who die in front of the camera than about horses who die on the track? Aren't they both performing the same service, ie entertaining humans?

While the death of the three horses in Hollywood is very sad, it does make me wonder how we arrive at animal welfare decision we make. I personally also feel very sad for the animals that die performing jumps for Australian spectators.

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