Written by Alisa Mullins
On Sunday, the University of Louisville's Kevin Ware sustained one of the most gruesome injuries in sports history. The outpouring of support from across the country, along with the response of his teammates, has been fantastic.
However, some horrifying leg injuries don't get the same attention, such as this one sustained by the great-granddaughter of legendary Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew and captured on video during a recent PETA investigation:
This young horse wasn't lauded or celebrated. There was no emergency surgery or outpouring of sympathy. She was just euthanized.
Fatal injuries like this one happen about three times every single day at racetracks across the country, including Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, home of the upcoming Kentucky Derby. That's because horses are forced to run at too young an age on bones that haven't fully developed. They are given drugs to mask pain so that they will run with existing injuries. And they are beaten into running at top speeds on hard, punishing track surfaces.
Unlike Louisville's indomitable Ware and other athletes who sustain injuries, horses used for racing don't choose to compete. And unlike human athletes who receive top-notch medical care and are often up and walking in a matter of days or weeks, horses who suffer catastrophic injuries are often killed right where they fall.
So tune in to the Final Four this weekend and cheer on Louisville (or Michigan, Syracuse, or Wichita State), but please never bet on, watch, or attend a horse race.
Written by Jeff Mackey
investigation into the cruel pigeon-racing
racket spanned many states and revealed rampant illegal gambling, in violation of
state and federal laws—including the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and felony gambling and tax laws—with stakes of $200,000 or more per race. One
of those states was Oklahoma, and as a result of the criminal investigation that followed, the Oklahoma City district attorney has charged three race organizers—including the executive director of the American Racing Pigeon Union—with felony
commercial gambling and conspiracy to violate the state's anti–commercial gambling act.
Until PETA's investigation broke, the shadier aspects of
pigeon racing had attracted little attention, but it's a blood sport that deserves to be as condemned as cockfighting or dogsled racing. In a
typical race, 60 percent of the birds will never make it back to their lofts and
mates because of extreme weather, predators, electric lines, foul play, and
Out of more than 1,500 baby pigeons shipped to Oklahoma City
for just one event attended by the investigators, the 2010 American Racing
Pigeon Union race, a little more than 1,000 birds survived training. Of those
thousand birds entered into the final race, a mere 420
made it back from Arkansas by nightfall—and many of those who returned still
likely had their necks wrung if they failed to finish "in the money."
As one pigeon racer told investigators, when starting out in pigeon racing,
"The first thing you have to learn—how to kill pigeons."
There's nothing sporting about forcing animals to risk—and
often lose—their lives so that someone can win a prize, a title, or some money.
Please never attend or support these sadistic blood sports, and if you witness
cruelty, never be silent.
Update: The Cherokee tribal council's meeting to discuss
the closure of the bear pits was postponed until Tuesday, March 19th at 5 p.m. because of bad
weather, so please keep letting the council know that public opinion is on the
side of the bears. To contact the council members, click on the "Take
Action Now" button below.
The following was originally posted on March 5, 2013:
After PETA publicized the findings of our investigation at Chief Saunooke Bear Park, several tribal elders of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians—which owns the land on which Chief Saunooke and other bear pits are located but does not run them—were horrified to learn of the conditions there.
Led by Peggy Hill, a group of elders has proposed a resolution to close all the bear exhibitors on tribal land permanently, and the tribal council is poised to vote on the resolution at its next council meeting this week. Hill told the Associated Press that "[m]ost Cherokee people had no idea what was taking place behind the bars of these roadside zoos" and that the elders are appalled "at the horrible treatment of these jailed bears."
Unfortunately, not everyone is on board with the plan. Chief Saunooke is currently closed, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended its license, but some in the community are pressuring the council to keep the other bear pits open. One of the facilities, Cherokee Bear Zoo, is also making a last-ditch bid for survival by claiming that it wants to remodel itself as a "sanctuary," although if this were its plan, there was nothing stopping it from doing so during all the years that it has been confining bears to barren concrete pits and racking up numerous violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act. The
bear exhibitors in Cherokee have proved time and again that they shouldn't have any contact with
You Can Help
Please contact the Cherokee tribal council and urge it to vote in favor of the resolution to close the bear pits permanently and send the bears to reputable sanctuaries.
Update: Thanks to
all of you who responded to PETA's action alert, New Hampshire House Bill (H.B.)
110 has stalled in
committee, meaning that investigators can continue to uncover cruelty on factory farms in
the state. H.B. 110 is likely to come up again this fall, so please keep
checking back here to learn how you can help PETA continue to defeat this and other attempts to shield abusers from exposure!
Originally posted on January 31st, 2013:
How badly do corporate animal abusers want to keep the public from knowing what happens on factory farms and in slaughterhouses? Bad enough to enlist accomplices in government to try to stop any efforts to document their cruelty. But after a New Hampshire state legislator reportedly made a false allegation about PETA in support of his bill to block undercover investigations, we're more determined than ever to make sure that animal suffering can be documented and the abusers are held accountable.
PETA has written Rep. Robert Haefner, the sponsor of House Bill (H.B.) 110, New Hampshire's "ag gag" bill (which would require evidence of abuse to be turned over to authorities in 24 hours, shutting down long-term undercover investigations), asking him to retract a false statement that he reportedly made about our Aviagen Turkeys, Inc., investigation. PETA turned over evidence of animal abuse from its investigation of Aviagen's West Virginia turkey factory farms two business days after the end of the investigation—not 13 months, as Haefner allegedly claimed at a public hearing on the bill last week. Within three months of receiving the video footage, grand jurors issued the first-ever felony indictments for cruelty to turkeys on factory farms. All three former Aviagen workers were later convicted. At the hearing, Haefner used this false claim to justify to New Hampshire citizens his proposed bill to stop long-term undercover investigations on factory farms, according to witnesses.
Investigations conducted by PETA and other organizations on factory farms have been instrumental in opening people's eyes to the cruelty inherent in intensive animal agriculture and have led to successful prosecutions of the perpetrators, but Haefner's bill would make it practically impossible for whistleblowers and undercover investigators to secure sufficient evidence to show a pattern of cruelty, as preferred by police and prosecutors.
Written by PETA
Update: PETA has filed a lawsuit against the New York State Department of Agriculture and
Markets under the state's Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) seeking records relating to
Adirondack Farms, LLC—the subject of last year's undercover PETA investigation
that revealed routine abuse and neglect of cows (see below for details).
© Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals
Despite these abuses, the department certified Adirondack
under its Cattle Health Assurance Program, which is meant to protect the health and welfare of cows
on dairy farms. Records relating to a farm's participation in this program are supposed
to be open to the general public under FOIL, but the department has improperly
denied PETA access to many of these records. Since this information is of vital
interest to anyone who wants to see farmed animals treated with the respect and
care that they deserve, PETA was left with no choice but to sue to obtain the
Originally posted on
April 11, 2012:
dairy farm manager who repeatedly electro-shocked a cow in the face and brushed
off the fact that his workers hit cows with poles and canes by saying that they
sometimes "get carried away" is still employed as a manager at the
farm—a month after PETA notified the farm's owners of the cruelty and released
video evidence of the abuse.
More Cruelty Caught on Video
same manager at Adirondack
Farms, LLC, in Peru, New York, was
recorded jabbing a downed cow in the ribs with a screwdriver and dragging her behind
a skid steer. He cursed at her—calling her a "dumb b***h" and asking
how the "f**k" she was unable to stand. You may remember that this
man stated that when a cow's uterus prolapses during calving, workers simply "put
[the uterus] back in and hope she lives … long enough for the beef truck to
come get her."
Farm Silent on Ending Abuse
we went public with the video footage that we gathered during our undercover investigation, we asked the farm's
owners to take immediate disciplinary action, including termination, against
the employees who were documented abusing animals. We gave the owners a
detailed list of men and explained what they did. We followed up. Four weeks
later, the owners remain silent. Even after eye-opening news reports on the case, neither Adirondack
Farms nor Agri-Mark, the company that it supplies with milk, has announced
taking a single meaningful step to improve their animal welfare standards. And
that this manager is still on the job at the farm suggests that it's cruel
business as usual there and beyond in the dairy industry.
What You Can Do
since a pig farmer told
our investigator, "Hurt 'em! There's nobody [who] works for
PETA out here," have we recorded so many dumb statements on camera.
told you how, following PETA's
investigation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture fined Chief
Saunooke Bear Park and suspended its exhibitor license.
These are some of the conversations that helped land the bear abusers in hot
1. Bears Biting the Metal Bars
know the bears are miserable.
2. Hiding Things From the USDA
sure the USDA loved this.
3. Not Feeding the Bears
4. Eating the Bears
5. Discrimination Against Native Americans (Who Own the Park Land)
must have gone over well with the landlord.
6. Your Questionable Work Ethic
that don't go well together: impaired awareness and handling bears.
7. How to Treat a Lady
8. OK, so Now Pick
Your Jaw Up off the Floor
guys are so dumb that they could get their own reality show.
9. And Take Action for Bears!
bear pit has been indefinitely shut down, but we still need your voice to ensure that
the animals are safe for good. Sign the petition to request that the USDA immediately confiscate all the
the Chief Saunooke Bear Park and place them in a safe, reputable sanctuary.
Written by Michelle Kretzer
After PETA filed multiple complaints with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding egregious violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) at Chief Saunooke Bear Park, the bear pit must now surrender its exhibitor license. What's more, the license will remain suspended until the dismal facility is able to prove that it's compliant with AWA regulations—if it ever can.
Members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians joined PETA in meeting with the USDA to detail the problems at the Cherokee, North Carolina, roadside zoo. Following our complaints and meeting, the USDA charged the bear pit with more than a dozen violations. Now, the park has agreed to pay a fine and surrender its license in order to settle the case. It's probably a smart move, considering that in a 62-page report that PETA gave to the USDA, bear experts who visited the facility documented that, among other violations, the park was failing to maintain adequate barriers between bears and the public, leading to at least two attacks on visitors thus far. According to the experts, the park also failed to supply food for its public feedings that met the bears' nutritional needs and instead allowed visitors to feed them cat food and Lucky Charms cereal. Among many other abuses, the facility also failed to provide the bears with veterinary care and forced them to eat from filthy, unsanitary food containers.
Barely a month ago, a PETA investigation revealed that staff members were deliberately depriving bears of food and that the animals are so stressed from being constantly confined to small, concrete pits that they pace repeatedly and gnaw at the metal cage bars. Our investigation also uncovered drug use, racism, wage-law violations, and more.
Please ask the USDA to take the next step and
confiscate the abused bears.
Last week, PETA Germany released the findings of its undercover investigation of three "free-range" egg farms. What the group found was pretty much the same kind of horror story that we've had in the U.S. and the U.K.: Far from the idyllic barnyards that people might associate with "humanely raised" or "free-range" eggs, the investigators for PETA Germany found thousands of hens confined to filthy, windowless sheds, just as chickens on "ordinary" factory farms are. The investigators videotaped dead and dying chickens among the living. Many birds were crawling with parasites, were missing most of their feathers, and had large sores all over their bodies, some of which oozed pus. In Germany, eggs labeled "bio " (organic and "humane") are supposed to come from chickens with access to the outdoors, but PETA Germany's investigators showed that the birds' access to the outdoors was often impeded or blocked, sometimes by live electrical wires!
On one farm, the investigators found exposed 15,000-volt electrical wiring that was shooting sparks. The hot wiring effectively confined birds to one section of the barn. In February, a neighboring barn with similar defective wiring burned down, killing 19,000 birds.
In 2010, PETA Germany caught another farm violating Germany's "bio" seal. The farmer now produces "free-range" eggs—the standards for which are less strict than those for the "bio" seal —but PETA Germany's most recent investigation documented apparent violations of those standards as well. The farmer has failed to provide the more than 9,000 chickens confined to his barns with minimum required space.
The 'Free-Range' Scam
"Free-range," "humanely raised," and "certified" labels in the U.S. can also be deceptive. The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires that "free-range" animals have access to outdoor areas, but the birds don't actually have to go outside, and some are too afraid to or are barred by impediments. United Egg Producers uses a label that reads, "United Egg Producers Certified," but this program is not regulated or enforced, and investigations have shown that companies using this label often do not treat chickens any differently than conventional factory farms do.
In fact, most "free-range" hens live in the same miserable, filthy factory farm conditions that "broiler" chickens (raised for their flesh) do. And like other factory-farmed hens, free-range hens are killed when their egg production begins to wane, at about 2 years of age.
Want to help hens? Stop eating eggs altogether. It's not hard. Just opt for egg replacers in baked goods and whip up some tasty, heart-healthy scrambled tofu for breakfast. For more hen-friendly cooking ideas, visit PETA.org/Living.
PETA has asked the Washington State Patrol (WSP) to open a
criminal investigation after as many as 70 animals endured prolonged agony and died
in the October 6 crash of a cattle transport truck container in Seattle. The
request also urges WSP to bring cruelty-to-animals and unsafe-animal-transport
charges against the person or people responsible if criminal actions are
In a jarring reminder that the trucks used to transport farmed animals are no less cruel and treacherous than the factory farms and slaughterhouses that
they travel between, the cattle container came unhinged on Interstate 90 and slid
200 yards along the road when the driver, hauling for J & H Express, Inc.,
rounded a curve. Video of the gruesome scene shows struggling survivors kicking their limbs and
hooves, which were stuck in the container's grated sides. Photos by WSP
responders reveal cattle piled on top of one another and covered with feces.
The animals were apparently denied emergency veterinary care.
About three hours passed before the cattle—who had already endured many hours
of transport from Hawaii—were driven three additional hours to Sunnyside, Washington,
where at least 20 of the injured were reportedly discovered to have died. The
driver was cited for traveling too fast and failing to secure his load. WSP
personnel found that he had "failed to lock down all four corners" of
the container given that two of its locking pins "had no damage or marking
According to Washington law, inflicting needless suffering on
an animal through recklessness or criminal negligence or failing to provide one's
animals with necessary medical attention constitutes second-degree cruelty to
animals if the animal suffers unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain. State
law also makes it clear that causing animals to be transported in a way that
jeopardizes their safety or that of the public is a misdemeanor.
Even without the flagrant and possibly illegal actions that
lead to truck accidents (which happen frequently) and the misery that they
cause, transport is hell on animals, who are often beaten or shocked to get
them to cram into the trailer of the 18-wheeler. During the trip, they are
often deprived of food and water for the entire journey, which may take days.
They suffer from heat exhaustion in the summer and freeze to the sides of the
truck in winter, and they're forced to inhale diesel exhaust and ammonia fumes
from their own waste—if they can breathe at all. After the trauma of the farm
and the truck, many animals are so ill or injured that they're unable to stand
and walk on their own, so they're kicked or dragged off the trucks to their
From birth to slaughter, the life of every animal used for
food is a long procession of indignities
and injuries, which are funded with each dollar spent on meat, eggs, or dairy products. Don't
buy into animals' misery—go vegan today!
Written by Paula Moore
attended an estate sale at a house that had belonged to a hoarder.
I've been going
to estate sales for years and have seen all manner of houses, but nothing could
have prepared me for the chaos within this one. Boxes stuffed with papers,
photographs, magazines, and old clothes were precariously stacked throughout
the home, covering almost every single surface.
There were boxes
on the beds, in the bathtubs, in the hallways, and on every piece of furniture.
Many rooms had a small pathway amid the clutter, barely wide enough for one
person to navigate. Frequently, someone would inadvertently send something
crashing down. Some rooms were completely impassable.
Now imagine that
those boxes were cages and crates stacked one on top of another, each
containing a miserable, sick animal, and that the surfaces were covered not
with clutter but with feces and urine. This is the reality when people hoard
animals, often under the delusion that they're "saving" them—and the
consequences are devastating.
PETA has investigated numerous
animal-hoarding cases over the years and, time and again, has found animals warehoused in deplorable
conditions. The investigators have seen cats kept in impossible-to-sanitize
wooden sheds and dilapidated, moldy trailers that reeked of ammonia, their living areas strewn with vomit,
trash, and waste. They've seen paralyzed animals forced to drag themselves around until they
developed bloody ulcers. They've seen suffering animals deprived of veterinary care—including
some plagued with seizures, diabetes, and wounds infected down to the bone.
is bad enough. But when animals are involved, intervention is vital. A majority
of animal-hoarding cases—at least 57 percent, according to one study—are
brought to authorities' attention by concerned neighbors.
If you suspect that animals are being neglected or
abused by their caretakers, even those who appear well intentioned, please be a
"nosy neighbor" and alert authorities immediately.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
Follow PETA on Twitter!
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.