State Leads Country in Horse Racing Deaths; PETA Pushes for Suspension of Racing

For Immediate Release:
March 25, 2022

David Perle 202-483-7382

Tucson, Ariz. – This morning, PETA sent a letter to the Arizona Racing Commission calling for an immediate suspension of all horse racing in order to allow for the implementation of lifesaving changes at the state’s racetracks—where horses are dying at more than double the national average rate.

In February, PETA wrote to the commission to urge its members to add CT scanning equipment, which could help prevent fatal breakdowns on the track, as evidence shows that more than 90% of broken bones in horses are caused by preexisting injuries at the site of the break. But the commission did not respond.

So far this season, at least seven horses have died at Rillito Park and 24 have died at Turf Paradise. Many others are suspected to have sustained fatal catastrophic injuries.

“Although racing can never be entirely safe for horses, simple changes could prevent countless fatal breakdowns,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is eager to help the Arizona racing industry reduce the deadly risk of forcing already-injured horses to race.”

In 2019, after a significant increase in horse deaths at Santa Anita Park in California, stakeholders in the racing industry met with PETA, suspended racing, and implemented some of the group’s recommendations as well as other improvements, which likely spared many horses.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—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