PETA’s Edgy Billboard to Blaze Into the Preakness: ‘Drugs. Breakdowns. Death.’

Fresh From the Kentucky Derby, Provocative Mobile Ad Highlights Racing’s Widespread Drug Abuse

For Immediate Release:
May 16, 2013

David Perle 202-483-7382

Baltimore — Call it the Triple Crown of horse-racing protests: PETA’s mobile billboard, which gave Kentucky Derby attendees a stark reminder of the dark side of horse racing, is now headed to Baltimore for the second leg of the Triple Crown, where it will circle Pimlico Race Course all day on Friday (Black-Eyed Susan Stakes Day) and Saturday, the day of the Preakness Stakes.

The billboard depicts a horse with a syringe-shaped blaze on her forehead and the words “Drugs. Breakdowns. Death. Horse Racing Is a Bad Bet” in reference to the misuse of both “therapeutic” and illegal drugs that the racing industry uses to keep injured horses running. As last year’s New York Times exposé of the thoroughbred racing industry pointed out, drug use leads to the deadly breakdown of more than three horses every day on racetracks across the U.S.

“Greed and illegal drugs are a deadly cocktail for the countless thoroughbreds who break down on racetracks across the country every week,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA’s billboard is going straight to the source—Baltimore’s Pimlico Race Course—to make sure that racegoers know that their tickets and bets support an industry that kills thousands of horses every year.”

Horses who survive being pumped full of pain-killing medications and performance-enhancing drugs and then being forced to run at breakneck speed face another threat: When they can no longer run, thoroughbreds are often sold at auction, packed onto crowded trucks, and shipped to slaughterhouses, where they are shot in the head, are hoisted into the air by one leg, and have their throats slit so that their flesh can be sold for human consumption.

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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