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HBO and ‘Luck’ Producer Sued by Former AHA Employee Over Alleged Horse Abuse

Written by Michelle Kretzer | January 3, 2013

HBO canceled its troubled horse-racing series Luck amid PETA’s protests over horse deaths on the set, and the bad luck continues for the show’s creators. Now HBO and the show’s producer, Stewart Productions, have been hit with a lawsuit charging that they willfully allowed horses to be abused and attempted to cover it up. 

Paolo Camera | cc by 2.0

The plaintiff in the suit is Barbara Casey, who worked for the American Humane Association (AHA) and was assigned to monitor animal welfare on the set of Luck. In her claim Casey asserts that HBO and Stewart Productions pressured the AHA to allow them to ignore animal safety standards in order to save time and money. Casey alleges that she balked at the idea but that her superiors sided with the show and ignored her desire to report abuse to law enforcement. Casey’s claim also alleges that underweight and sick horses were routinely forced to work, that horses were often drugged, and that producers went so far as to misidentify horses so that animal safety representatives wouldn’t be able to track down their accurate medical histories. Casey is also suing the AHA for wrongful termination on the grounds that her desire to report the criminal activity led to her dismissal.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Casey’s lawsuit argues that “AHA bowed to political and financial pressure and refused to report the Production Defendants’ conduct to the authorities. … AHA instructed Plaintiff not to report such conduct. AHA engaged in efforts to conceal and cover up the production defendants’ criminal activities.”

The law-enforcement investigation that PETA pushed for is still ongoing as well and could result in cruelty-to-animals charges.

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  • Sue Carter says:

    Please expose the corruption of horse racing. These animals are drugged without their consent. Now as Owners search for Drugs that are undetectable in standard Drug tests these horses are being given poisonous substances such as Dermorphin, a secretion from South American frogs, Purple Pain, a Pain-masker and TB-500 to build muscle and speed.
    To top it off, the Industry wants to slaughter horses for HUMAN CONSUMPTION in the US!
    This was brought to light in the recent Valley Meat Hearing in Roswell NM, where Leonard Blach DVM, a Race Track Veterinarian and owner of Mine That Bird, Kentucky Derby winner; testified on BEHALF of Valley Meat and the safety of horsemeat for human consumption. He also, agreed that more than 30.000 Race Horses end up in the slaughter pipe-line every year !

  • terrie says:

    Wow,greedy people making a show about horses because people love horses, but wait…they think “so what if we kill a few in the process”, as long as the public doesn’t know about it! There are no words harsh enough for the American Humane people responsible for these horrors. SHAME ON THEM!!! I hope they pay for their heartlessness at some point in their lives.

  • Claudia-Susann Berg says:

    You must be completely crazy, stupid and cruel. Without any heart, any Soul, any Feeling. STOP and go to do your Job without any Animals.

  • Claudia-Susann Berg says:

    The world is completely stupid and crazy and cruel. Stop it NOW and FOREVER ! My heart is weeping and search for another spiritual Job. Thats your duty ! Not to kill horses !!

  • Cheryl Hansen says:

    I support PETA

  • willy smit says:

    stop this, you kill my heart, my soul, my live

  • RICHARD says:

    GOOD !!!!!!! MIDGETS RIDING ON THE BACK OF ANIMALS ON DRUGS AND WHIPPING THEM TO RUN IS STUPID . I SAY LETS RACE THE JOCKEYS !!!! I WOULD BET ON MIDGET RASES !!!!!!! GIDDY UP !!!!!

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