Animals in sport

The use of animals in competitive sports is controversial in animal welfare circles. The issue at stake is that animals are forced to perform physical efforts for the benefit of their human owners/caretakers. Since humans eager to win might be tempted to ask too much from their animals, while they unlike humans cannot give informed consent, this is not always to the benefit of these animals. There are known instances of people giving performance enhancing drugs to horses.

Earlier we advocated a total ban on blood sports as well to abolish animal racing. Instead of betting on animal races, people could bet on human races such as the 400m hurdling. But there are less cruel sports which involves animals. One of these sports is polo, a ball-and-stick game played on horseback.

An alternative variant of polo exist, however, in which horses are replaced with bicycles, and is known as cycle polo. This animal friendly game is usually played on grass (like traditional polo) or on hard court. The rules are basically the same as in horse polo. Cycle polo requires certain skills as one should able to steer his/her bike aswell being able to use his/her stick simultaneously.

Below a video on Cycle Polo:

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