19 horses died at race track in California, but racing can continue

Horses forced to race
Horses forced to race at Santa Anita Park, November 2019, California, photo: Richard Mackson-Usa Today Sports

Nineteen horses have died at the Los Alamitos race track in California since the beginning of the year. But the California Horse Racing Board said on Friday that racing could continue.

The Board held an emergency meeting and voted 5-1 to allow racing to continue but said the track had ten days to come up with a plan to reduce the many deaths.

“If the California Horse Racing Board won’t suspend all racing when horses die, it must at least implement lifesaving changes”, Kathy Guillermo, senior vice president of the animal rights group PETA, said in a statement.

“Installing CT scan equipment to detect injuries, banning all medications in the two weeks before a race, replacing dirt tracks with synthetic surfaces, banning all whipping, and booting out of racing every trainer with multiple drug violations,” she continued. “Without these crucial changes, anything else is simply a temporary fix.”

Kristin Leigh from the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses (CPR) told The Animal Reader earlier that the majority of the people behind horse racing don’t care for the animals: “They treat them (racehorses) like disposable objects and take no responsibility for them once they stop making money.”

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