MK Yoel Hasson's Horse Racing Speech at Animal Rights Day at the Knesset





Transcript of MK Yoel Hasson's speech at the Knesset, broadcast on television on the Knesset Channel

28 February 2012, Tel Aviv

Translated from Hebrew


Yoel Hasson (Kadima): ...But I would actually like to bring up the subject that, in my view, is exactly the proof of why we don't have to. Experimentation on animals is something very complex, deep, we've talked about it. But why, and I hear the government, Madam Minister, do you want to promote this initiative today, to allow gambling on horses in Israel? Horse racing and betting on horses in Israel. As I see it, this is the clearest example of animal abuse. There is no question about it. Anyone who is familiar with it at first hand, anyone who knows what the horses go through in these competitions, before the race and after the race; anyone who knows the way these horses are treated in order to make them faster, better, more efficient, and win more ó they undergo mistreatment, distorted nutrition, really terrible things. And I am shocked by the fact that there is a government in the state of Israel ó almost 64 years we have managed without horse racing in Israel, there are enough countries that do it. Now, what exactly does it contribute? Do we lack amusements? Is it amusement? Is it pleasure, abusing animals in this way?


First of all I want to support Amutat Hakol Chai, which is leading the fight against starting this thing called horse racing in Israel, or racing any other animals, which could also develop. And I have also decided to put forward a draft bill that will prohibit ó I put it forward today ó a draft bill to prohibit horse racing in the state of Israel. There is no benefit to it, there is nothing in it that will make us a better society. Really not. Really not. And just today I also thought of this: you know, once upon a time if you wanted to create amusement through gambling, all these things, you really had to do it in the field, as they say. You needed a horse. What, once they even bet on gladiators, on human beings fighting each other, and people would bet on who would be left alive. Weíve stopped doing that, right?


Aryeh Eldad (HaIchud HaLeumi): No, there are primaries..


Yoel Hasson (Kadima): Very good. Good for you. You are always so witty. But weíve stopped doing it. For real. People do it on the computer, with animations, thatís all right. We could have a different ethical debate on the subject, on violent content in computer games, on television, thatís another story. Horse racing could also be carried out very well on the computer, it would be very easy to do it on the Internet, there is no need to take real horses, to mistreat them, and to do this thing for real ó you were talking, Nissim Zeev, about cruelty to animals. There is nothing worse than this for the horse, believe me. Nothing. Itís true, a horse is an animal that is ridden, it runs, that's fine, but not ---


Speaker Ghaleb Majadele: Thank you, sir.


Yoel Hasson (Kadima): Iím sorry, I didnít notice the time ó but not like this. And so I say: on this day, first of all, sir, we should thank all those associations and organizations that work for animal welfare and do whatever they can. And I would also like to thank, and I think there are hundreds of thousands of households in Israel, all those who keep pets at home, take care of them, raise them. I think they are doing a great thing. Apart from the fact that they are probably enjoying a wonderful animal, they are also doing a great good deed. I hope there will be more and more families, Mr. Speaker, who adopt animals into their homes. This has an educational value, and important value as well as great pleasure. I also have a dog at home, heís called Moose, and itís great fun to raise this dog. And so I hope that this day will continue to move us forward in everything to do with animal welfare in Israel, and that we will not be seeing horse racing in Israel. Thank you.