D.A.’s Delay on Santa Anita Horse Death Findings Prompts Protest

Inexcusable! 36 Horses Dead, yet No One Is Held Accountable, PETA Fumes

For Immediate Release:
October 30, 2019

David Perle 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – Waving signs proclaiming, “D.A. Lacey: Do Your Job! Prosecute Cruelty at the Track,” PETA supporters will gather outside District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s office on Thursday to protest the slow pace of her office’s investigation into the deaths of horses at Santa Anita racetrack. The action comes just four days after the death of Bye Bye Beautiful, the 36th horse to die at the track since December.

Where:    N. Spring Street between W. Temple and Aliso streets, Los Angeles

When:    Thursday, October 31, 12 noon

“If, one by one, human runners were given drugs and forced to run on a track until their legs snapped and they lost their lives, would the D.A. act quickly?” asks PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Seven months have now passed—and 14 more horses have died horrifically—since the D.A.’s office opened its investigation at PETA’s urging, and still no results or prosecutions for cruelty to animals have emerged.”

PETA is also urging the D.A. and the California Horse Racing Board to suspend the licenses of trainers whose horses have died, pending the outcome of the investigation. Thousands of necropsies of horses who sustained broken bones while racing or training show that in 90% of cases, a preexisting injury was present at the site of the break. Drugs such as the powerful anti-inflammatory phenylbutazone (aka “bute”) are often administered to keep lame and unfit horses competing, and while such drugs themselves may be legal, racing injured animals likely also violates state anti-cruelty laws.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—is currently working with the owner of Santa Anita to improve conditions at the track and has joined forces with Social Compassion in Legislation on a bill to help protect horses used for racing.

PETA opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind