The municipality of Utrecht has refused a subsidy request for a horse race in Maliban because the animals should not be used in the events. The organisation, the Student Veterinary Service, is disappointed and objects to this decision.
For horse racing enthusiasts, the Maliebaan competition is a highlight. The competition was organized in honor of the Veterinary Student Circle, as it had been during the previous festivities.
Rejected “as a precaution”
The organization applied for a subsidy for the short belt race, but the Utrecht municipality rejected this as a “precautionary measure” because “it is not sufficiently clear whether the welfare of the horses is guaranteed by this short belt”. The Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals also stated that the event “contradicts the recognition of an animal’s intrinsic value: it shows little respect and results in the animal being shattered and reduced to a toy object”.
animal care note
Since 2019, the municipality of Utrecht has developed a new policy, the Animal Welfare Memorandum, which also states that the municipality wants to influence events where animals are used.
So now horse racing is at stake. The Student Veterinary Service says it is disappointed and will contest the municipality’s decision. They need a subsidy to race. The municipal council has already written that the rules of support and the Animal Welfare Memorandum “do not provide sufficient grounds for refusing support, because the horse races are not mentioned as a specific basis for the refusal.”
Waiting for the result
The municipality also wrote about this: “We are investigating how to better ensure our current policy on animal welfare when granting subsidies.” It is also difficult to refuse an event permit application, because the activity does not violate the rules.” So it remains to be seen what the end result will be.
The reaction of the student’s veterinary department
“Maliebaandag’s focus is on trotting and trotting at a short track. From the Student Vet circle, we want to use this event to start a conversation about the sport, and create more awareness about everything that comes with it. So the focus for this day will be education, including lectures on The sciences involved in this sport and the challenges it poses. That is why we would like to have support.”
The knowledge and society gap
“After all, on a day like this you can bridge the gap between science and society. In addition, the care of the animals for the horses themselves is closely monitored by the many experts who keep an eye on it during Maliban Day.”
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