Written by PETA
After receiving whistleblower reports that at least two horses have died from heat stress at Fairmount Park Racetrack in Collinsville, Ill., PETA called on racetracks in the U.S. and Canada to suspend racing until the intense heat wave breaks. Six tracks—including New York's Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack, Monmouth Park in New Jersey, Pennsylvania's Presque Isle Downs, Colonial Downs in Virginia, and Toronto's Woodbine Racetrack—all suspended races out of concern for animal welfare. Iowa's Prairie Meadows Racetrack had suspended races on Tuesday.
As if being goaded to run at breakneck speeds on a "regular" summer day isn't dangerous enough, horses are still being forced to run despite record-breaking high temperatures and debilitating humidity. Every summer horses suffer heat stroke, heart attacks, and exhaustion during the racing season.
While PETA is working toward the day when no horses will be run to death, raced too young, given performance-enhancing drugs, suffer broken legs, and more … for now, please join us in asking The Jockey Club to at least provide for a safe, comfortable retirement for broken-down and worn-out thoroughbreds.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
While billboard companies in Louisville may want to keep Kentucky Derby fans in the dark about the racing industry's appalling abuses, which lead to breakdown and death, The Onion makes them front-page news.
In making their predictions for the upcoming Kentucky Derby, The Onion's "Steam Room" commentators reveal just how shockingly* far "horse beaters" (their words) will go in forcing their beleaguered, drugged thoroughbreds to race (or hobble) toward the finish line, including whippings and more. As one of the sportscasters notes, "As far as I know, there are no rules in horse racing. You just procure a horse and get [him or her] across the finish line by any means necessary." Folks, you won't want to miss this video:
The last time "America's Finest News Source" shed light on "expendable athletes," some readers didn't make the connection to the horse-racing industry—but this time, there can be no denying it. Thanks, Onion!
Written by Karin Bennett
Sure, some men joke about how to score with women, but the horse-racing industry's use of stallions to impregnate tens of thousands of mares—in the quest for one big winner—is no laughing matter.
The good news is that thoroughbred breeding stats for 2009 show a decline in the number of horses who were bred. The number of stallions bred dropped almost 9 percent, and the number of mares bred fell 13.5 percent, according to The Jockey Club. Don't misunderstand—there's still a whole lotta suffering in the making. This year alone, more than 45,000 mares were "covered" (bred), which means that tens of thousands of foals will be born into the racing industry and face the risk of suffering broken bones, being drugged, and being abandoned, neglected, or shipped overseas for slaughter when they are no longer considered "useful." Most of the slaughtering of U.S. horses takes place in Mexico and Canada: More than 100,000 U.S. horses per year are trucked to Mexico and Canada to be slaughtered (and more than 10,000 of those horses are thoroughbreds formerly used for racing).
The Kentucky Derby and other high-stakes races represent the suffering of thousands of horses—day in and day out, year in and year out. While the drop in breeding means that fewer horses will be born to suffer a lifetime of abuse, there's still much more work to be done. Take a minute to check out our investigation into a Japanese horse slaughterhouse and write to the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and demand breeding limits.
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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.