PETA Statement: Include Cruelty to Animals in Charges Against Tioga Downs Arsonist

For Immediate Release:
November 9, 2023

David Perle 202-483-7382

Nichols, N.Y. – Please see the following statement from PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo regarding the fire this morning at Tioga Downs. New York State Police confirmed that the fire was set intentionally and have a suspect in custody:

The despicable individual who allegedly set fire to a barn at Tioga Downs harness track, killing multiple horses, must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. PETA calls for cruelty-to-animals charges to be included and thanks the New York State Police for swiftly apprehending a suspect. We don’t know what would motivate anyone to do something so awful except insurance fraud or pure malice. The suffering of horses who were burned alive is almost unimaginable, and these animals, as the victims, must be considered in any prosecution.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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