PETA Statement on Churchill Downs’ Racing Suspension and Move to Ellis Park

For Immediate Release:
June 2, 2023

Moira Colley; 202-483-7382

Louisville, Ky. – Please see the following statement from PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo regarding the unprecedented move of races from Churchill Downs to Ellis Park:

“We are relieved that racing has been suspended, which PETA has been calling for since May 2, but Churchill Downs must not play Russian roulette with these horses’ lives by simply shifting the problem elsewhere. Putting the bullet in a different chamber could have the same lethal outcome. We are frustrated at the racing industry’s refusal to implement technology that is scientifically and statistically proven to save lives. Until race tracks install synthetic surfaces and utilize CT scanning equipment to detect injuries, among other improvements, they can’t pretend to be mystified by fatalities.”

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 or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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