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Group Cites Troubling Track Record of Horse Owner Michael Gill
For Immediate Release:February 4, 2010
Contact:Kathy Guillermo 757-622-7382
Washington -- After jockeys at Penn National Race Course voted not to ride in races in which horses owned by Michael Gill are scheduled to run, PETA fired off a letter today to the Pennsylvania State Board of Veterinary Medicine calling for an investigation of the veterinarians who treat Gill's horses at both the Penn National Race Course and his private training stables in Oxford, Pa. Ten of Gill's horses have broken down at the track in the last 13 months. All 10 horses had to be euthanized, including two animals just last month.
"Healthy, sound horses don't suffer catastrophic breakdowns this frequently," says PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. "The state veterinary board needs to ask the veterinarians who are treating Gill's horses some tough questions."
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
PETA's letter to the Pennsylvania State Board of Veterinary Medicine follows.
February 4, 2010
Michelle Roberts, Board AdministratorState Board of Veterinary MedicineDear Ms. Roberts:
I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and our more than two million members and supporters to ask the Board to investigate the practices of the veterinarians at Penn National Race Course, especially those veterinarians who treat and oversee the care of horses owned by Michael Gill. We ask also that you investigate the veterinarians who treat horses at Elk Creek Ranch, Michael Gill’s private training center in Oxford, Pa.
In the last 13 months, ten of Gill’s horses were euthanized at Penn National after suffering injuries during races. While breakdowns are all too common in racing, this number is astounding, particularly when all the horses are owned by one person. In an unprecedented action, the jockeys at Penn National last week voted not to ride in races in which horses owned by Gill are running. Now track officials have asked the State Racing Commission to investigate.
We turn to you because evidence from the state-mandated necropsies on racehorses who die on tracks in California shows that most breakdowns are the result of micro-damage to the bones of horses who have not been allowed to recover adequately from the stress of racing; in other words, from choosing to race horses who should be rested. Pharmaceutical drugs used legally--if not ethically--can keep injured and sore horses racing when they should be recovering. Ten breakdowns in the same stable in just 13 months seems to indicate that horses who aren’t fit are being made to race, and this implicates the veterinarians who treat these horses.
Will you act with haste to investigate the veterinary practices at Penn National Race Course? I look forward to hearing from you soon on this urgent matter of life and death.
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.