Written by Jeff Mackey
Folks watching The Belmont Stakes this weekend got a shocking
reality check after the race, in the winner's circle as the trophy was being presented when a PETA representative
whipped out a sign demanding a ban on dopers in horseracing.
Readers of The PETA Files already know that Doug O'Neill, the
trainer of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner I'll Have Another, who scratched at the last minute, has a shameful record of illegally drugging horses, but nine out of the 10 trainers of the remaining
contenders have violated drug regulations, too, including Michael Matz, the trainer of Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags.
It's time for racing
fans to face up to the seamy practices that they're enabling—and how they're harming horses in the process. Of course, the problem goes far beyond The Belmont Stakes: Only
two of the top 20 trainers in the U.S. last year had never been cited for a
What You Can Do
Horse racing's dirty secret is out, and it's time for the
dopers to get the boot. Please contact your members of Congress and ask them to support the Interstate Horseracing Improvement Act of 2011, which would
prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs and expand drug-testing requirements
at all races.
Written by PETA
In 2002, the 1986 Kentucky Derby champ, Ferdinand, was slaughtered after his breeding days in Japan were done.
Fast-forward to 2009: Two more horses, Charismatic and War Emblem—Kentucky Derby champs from 1999 and 2002 respectively—may also face slaughter as their usefulness to breeders comes to an end.
After breaking his leg in the 1999 Belmont, Charismatic was sold to breeders in Japan. His value as a breeding stallion has dropped dramatically (to approximately US$5,000), and he has been moved to the lowest-ranking of breeding farms.
Just a few years ago, horse-racing fans cheered as Charismatic and War Emblem ran away with top prizes at the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Now, PETA's most recent undercover investigation shows what could be in store for these once-celebrated stallions and thousands of other horses sold into the Japanese thoroughbred industry.
Each year in Japan, more than 20,000 horses, including many horses once used for racing, are slaughtered for dog and human food. This video shows the slaughter of a young thoroughbred. As stated in the New York Times, "The video is disturbing. It shows in graphic terms what happens to the unfortunate thoroughbreds who become spare parts in a contracting industry."
You can blame the U.S. horse-racing industry for the carnage. It routinely breeds tens of thousands of "surplus" thoroughbreds every year, then sells thousands of them to breeding facilities in Japan. More than 2,000 U.S. thoroughbred horses and breeding mares have been shipped to Japan since Ferdinand was slaughtered in 2002.
Just last year, Americans watched in horror as racing filly Eight Belles suffered fractures to both her front ankles and was euthanized just moments after running the Kentucky Derby. How can anyone not be disgusted by the shuffling of thousands of horses off to Japan and into slaughterhouses?
Join us in defending former Derby and Preakness champs Charismatic and War Emblem—and thousands of other thoroughbreds. Demand limits on breeding and a ban on the export of horses to Japan.
Written by Karin Bennett
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.
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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.