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While a possible twining between Waterford and Haikou city, China, might yield cultural and business rewards, it is a concern that it might take place at the expense of the non-human members of our society.
The intention to introduce a horse racing industry into Haikou could be seen as an attempt to export an activity that has a seam of animal cruelty, illegal drug use and financial malpractice running through it.
Horse racing is an activity based on greed and involves the abuse of animals in the pursuit of financial profit.
The fact Ireland is looking to export one of our animal-based cruel activities to China could open the floodgates to creating a shamrock cruelty industry.
Our national pastimes of live hare coursing, dog fighting, badger baiting and foxhunting could soon be heading to China with the approval of local and national government.
Given that Waterford has been involved in the live animal export trade that has sent Irish farm animals to their deaths under Middle Eastern skies, will our involvement with this twinning project mean that we soon will be exporting Irish horses to be abused for financial interests?
For Ireland to inflict the horse racing industry on China would be an act of cultural vandalism on a par with knocking over the Great Wall of China and using the rubble to build a horse racing track.
Waterford Animal Concern
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