Update: After PETA called for owners of horses slated to run in the Derby to match the Audible company’s donation of $15,000 to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, Audible stepped up again and gave an additional $25,000! Come on, racing folks, step up and follow Audible’s example!
Originally published May 1, 2018:
To prevent former racing Thoroughbreds from being slaughtered, PETA has asked all owners of horses slated to run in the Kentucky Derby to donate $15,000 each to the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), an organization formed at PETA’s urging that helps find homes for horses who are no longer used by the racing industry.
The Kentucky Derby is next week. What happens after the race?
When @TBaftercare (TAA) started in 2012, a US thoroughbred had a 50% chance of slaughter in Canada or Mexico.
Today, TAA offers hope for horses.
— Gregory Reiter Fund (@gregreiterfund) April 27, 2018
PETA’s request was inspired by the audiobook company Audible, which donated $15,000 to the TAA in honor of Audible, a Thoroughbred running in the upcoming Derby.
Adequate funds are crucial for these discarded horses.
In its letters to the owners, PETA points out that before 2012, when the TAA was begun, 10,000 Thoroughbreds were trucked to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico every year. Well-known horses have been killed for human consumption, including 1986 Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand, who was slaughtered in Japan.
U.S. Thoroughbreds have a better chance at finding homes now, but some are still doomed to end up in slaughterhouses when they stop winning or are too injured to run. If all the owners of the horses running in the 2018 Kentucky Derby would pledge $15,000, it would make a world of difference to retired Thoroughbreds who still have years of life ahead.
To help with the cost, the PETA-proposed concept for betting terminal technology now allows bettors on many AmTote betting machines to donate a portion of their winnings to the TAA.
Horse slaughter is dangerous for horses and humans alike.
Unlike animals specifically raised for their flesh, the vast majority of Thoroughbreds who are slaughtered have been treated with a multitude of drugs—some even illegal—that are known to be dangerous to humans.
Of chief concern is a commonly used anti-inflammatory drug called phenylbutazone, or “bute”—a known carcinogen in humans that can cause bone-marrow toxicity and even death. Its use is prohibited in animals raised for their flesh, yet there’s no reliable system in place to ensure that horses killed for human consumption have not been treated with bute or other highly toxic and prohibited substances.
Help ban cruel horse slaughter.
Every year, more than 100,000 American horses are crammed into livestock trailers and sent to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. They’re often injured in the grueling journey, during which they’re denied food and water.
Use PETA’s form to urge your congressional representatives to cosponsor the Safeguard American Food Exports Act, which would prevent horse slaughter in the U.S., end the transport of American horses to foreign slaughterhouses, and prevent the public from consuming horseflesh laden with drug residues.