David Perle 202-483-7382
Grand Prairie, Texas – This morning, PETA sent a letter to Lone Star Park and the Texas Racing Commission urging them to move quickly to cancel two upcoming fireworks shows, citing the dangers to ultra-sensitive, skittish horses and reminding them of previous instances in which horses became so spooked by the explosions that they injured themselves, sometimes so severely that they had to be euthanized. PETA also points out that dogs, cats, and wildlife often flee to escape the blasts, becoming lost or disoriented and sometimes running into traffic, and that veterans and others with post-traumatic stress disorder can be distressed by the war-like booms.
“Fireworks frighten horses and put them in physical peril, with often deadly results,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on Lone Star Park to act responsibly by using special-effects pyrotechnics or drone shows that deliver all the fun of fireworks with none of the fright.”
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s letter to Lone Star Park and the Texas Racing Commission follows.
July 1, 2022
Executive Vice President of Racing
Lone Star Park
Dear Mr. Vance:
Thoroughbreds and fireworks at the same track make for a dangerous combination.
I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to urge you to replace the fireworks display planned for the Lone Stars & Stripes Fireworks Festival with a safer alternative, such as a drone or laser show. These options would both be celebratory and protect the horses who will be at Lone Star Park for the races on July 3 and 4 as well as the other domestic animals and wildlife in the vicinity.
As you well know, horses are sensitive, often skittish animals, whose first instinct when startled is to bolt. Even if they are securely contained in a stall, they can rear and injure themselves. Fireworks can cause even the calmest of animals to panic, attempt to flee, or even die from accidents caused by the terrifying noise. A horse in Kentucky was so terrified by fireworks before the Fourth of July that as he tried to run away, he fell, broke his hip, and later died. Numerous similar incidents have been reported, including one in which 68 horses were so frightened by fireworks that they ran into fences and other structures, causing many injuries.
In addition to the risk of injury, there is the indisputable fact that some horses will be frightened by the loud cracks and booms of the fireworks. Why put them through this stress?
We strongly urge you to cancel the planned fireworks display in order to protect the horses and all other animals in the vicinity. Thank you. We look forward to hearing from you.
Senior Vice President