Another horse racing scandal – as the industry again does PED damage-control

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It is 2015 and for many, many years animal-welfare advocates have been calling for an end to horse racing – or at minimum the end to the abuses in horse racing.

And yet we continue to see stories like the one that flashed across the Pack News Wire today. The Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) has called for new regulations on the use of Cobalt throughout racing across the globe.

An article on notes the substance is used to enhance performance, but can damage the thyroid gland and can be toxic to the horse’s heart.

But Cobalt is used anyway by at least some strainers.

Hell – the lure is so strong to win at all costs that human athletes are risking their lives with PEDs. Is it so hard to understand how humans with dollar signs flashing over they heads can so easily inject animals with PEDs?

These people will always try to find ways to slip around the rules. They need that money on that wall; they want that money on that wall.

The use of animal in gambling operations must be banned immediately. The profit motives will always be too strong and in the case of racing, the dogs and horses will continue to suffer. Just over the last couple of months, we’ve seen the results.

If we don’t ban animal racing, we will continue to read articles like this one and stories with topics far worse for many years to come. The racing industries will just continue to claim they are working on the next scandal – on rinse-repeat – over and over again.

It’s been that way for decades and our elected officials just keep looking the other way. After all, if it’s about money, it’s an excuse for anything. If only we had more elected officials with backbones. But right now, that goal is far in the distance.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Jockey charged after shock device spotted in promotional photo

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Jockey Roman Eric Chapa faces a felony charge of unlawful influence on racing after a device he was holding in his hand during a race was spotted in a promotional photo

A CNN report on the incident contains some troubling details. This isn’t a first offense for this guy.

Chapa was fined and suspended in 1994 for using a nail as a spur. In 2002, he spent 10 days in jail on animal-cruelty charges unrelated to horse racing. And in 2012 he was caught hitting his horse in the face during a race, leading to another fine.

And yet, he’s in trouble again in 2015. Obviously, the desire to win races is stronger than the weak punishment he has received to date.

The industry, as usual for horse racing and greyhound racing, is defending itself by suggesting this is a rare thing. But what about the horses who are injured on a routine basis and what about the horses who are shipped off to slaughter once their racing days are over?

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

HSUS leader Wayne Pacelle reviews results for 2014

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In his A Humane Nation blog this week, Humane Society of the United States leader Wayne Pacelle reviewed the organization’s “Top Transformational Results of 2014.”

The list features:

South Dakota becoming the 5oth US state to adopt a felony animal-cruelty law.

It is now a federal crime to attend or bring a child to a dogfight or cockfight.

The truly idiotic and evil “King Amendment” was tossed out of the Farm Bill.

A federal appellate court rightfully overturned a horrible ruling from a lower that might have tossed out the animal crush video law. If I recall, the lower court tried to claim that torturing and brutally killing animals was protected free speech. That’s one for the Moronic Court Ruling Hall of Fame.

So arguably the current leader for the Moronic Court Ruling Hall of Fame is Citizens United.

A number of countries have agreed to end the use of gestation crates for pigs.

Three horse-slaughter plants were blocked from opening this year.

A new U.S. Department of Agriculture rule blocks the importation of puppies for sale. This means at least foreign puppy mills can’t sell here.

Internet sellers of puppy now have to follow USDA guidelines. The HSUS helped to block a legal challenge to this ruling.

Better protections are in place for animals suffering through experiments in labs.

The World Trade Organization is thankfully supporting European Union’s ban on products resulting from the horrific Canadian seal hunts.

The wolf hunts were stopped in Michigan.

New York and New Jersey became the first states to banned the sale of Ivory. This one should become a federal ban.

And Pacelle states the “…  International Court of Justice ruled that Japan’s Southern Ocean whaling program violates the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling’s ban on commercial hunting.”

Read Pacelle’s full rundown at the link above.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Shocker: The US Congress did something good yesterday, on horse slaughter

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The US Congress, within the latest budget agreement, voted Thursday to cut funding for inspections at horse-slaughter plants.

Without this funding, horse slaughter plants will not be inspected and therefore will not be able to operate.

An AP story posted on the ABC News site included the following quote, which pretty much says it all:

“The message from Capitol Hill is loud and clear on this issue: Our horses deserve better, and this abhorrent industry will not be tolerated,” said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations.

So hopefully, the proposed horse-slaughter plant in New Mexico will not be allowed to open, at least during the period where this latest budget applies. I hope the cut will become permanent.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Judge extends restraining order on opening of NM horse slaughter plant

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We can only hope a judge’s extension of a restraining order, against the opening of a horse slaughter plant in New Mexico, will lead to a permanent ban on operations such as this.

On Friday, State District Judge Matthew Wilson put the opening on hold for 10 more days, so that testimony can be heard. reports New Mexico Attorney General Gary King is thankfully in a lead role in the effort to stop the plant from opening at all.

The effort to block the plant is largely based on food safety. It is true that little will be known about what might have been injected into the horses, prior to being sold to slaughter. This might be the case for race horses.

But the primary issue is and should be the horrible means used to kill the horses, such as captive bolts. Shutting down horse slaughter in the US several years back was the right and humane thing to do and it’s still the right and humane thing to do.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

HSUS board member reviews 2013

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A view of the year 2013 for the Humane Society of the US, written by board member Cathy Kangas, was publish Tuesday on the Huffington Post website.

While the list Kangas features contains a number of important facts, some of the information really deserves highlights.

The public also became aware of the American Kennel Club’s ties with the puppy mill industry.

The HSUS also successfully advocated for passage of amendments to the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations bills to defund horse slaughter inspections, which if retained in the final FY 2014 spending bill, will restore the ban on horse slaughter in the U.S.

The HSUS won a big victory in securing an amendment to the farm bill that makes it a federal crime to attend an animal fight.

Let’s hope we see a huge range of success in the area of animal welfare in 2014.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Pack of Compassion Award: NH 11-year-old opposing horse slaughter

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Sometimes, kids can show more intelligence, logic and compassion than some adults. This is the case for an New Hampshire 11-year-old, who is fighting the good fight against horse slaughter.

New reports Declan Gregg runs a blog, Children 4 Horses. He’s been to Washington, DC three times to voice his concerns and keeps track of related bills. He was named the Humane Kid of the Year in 2012, by the ASPCA.

Hopefully, his efforts and the work of others can lead to a full ban of horse slaughter and therefore block the opening of the proposed plant in New Mexico. He is also promoting the SAFE Act, to also protect food safety.

For his great mission in helping horses, Declan has earned the latest Pack of Compassion Award.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Wacky Royal Mentality: Princess Anne on eating horses

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Princess Anne spoke this week at the World Horse Welfare conference and suggested fewer horses would suffer if more were killed for human consumption. She claims people would treat horses better if they thought the horses would end up as food.

No way around it, that is Wacky Mentality. And anyone who would treat horses badly, but somehow decide to treat them better if they knew the horses would be slaughtered later, is practicing Wacky Mentality too.

The Telegraph reports this:

She spoke of how in Poland horse owners cared properly for their animals. The Princess Royal said it was only when they were sold for meat and transported live in lorries that they were subjected to poor conditions.

So it’s okay that they are subjected to poor conditions on the way to – and at – the slaughterhouses? Has she thought this through?

People who really care about horses treat them with compassion because it’s the right thing to do. If some people won’t care properly for horses unless they know they can sell them into the meat trade later, then those people should not be guardians for horses in the first place.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Editorial covers a lot of ground on animal welfare

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An editorial by Peter Fricker, projects and communications director for the Vancouver Humane Society, ran September 8 on the Vancouver Sun website.

Fricker covers a lot of territory on animal-welfare topics, from endangered species to habitat loss to horse racing to factory farming to fur farms to bull fighting. He offers one quote indicating that unlike the extinction of animals over the past history of the Earth, human activity is almost entirely to blame for the current extinction crisis.

Among the terrible statistics he cited is this:

More than 10,000 U.S. thoroughbred horses are shipped annually to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. Most of these are young, healthy horses — their racing careers can end at three years old but they can live to 30.

This is a stunning number that outpaces the horrors of the awful greyhound racing industry. The convenient excuse is to claim we have to inflict suffering on animals in vast ways, for financial reasons – or for the jobs the suffering supports.

Is our society still so greedy or in other ways so apathetic that we’re supposed to support cruelty and torture as long as it supplies jobs? We should be at a point – in 2013 – where we’ve advanced beyond this point. But we are not there yet.

I think most people care. But there exist enough greed and apathy and cruelty around us to maintain these industries and entities and to maintain the protection the government is offering them. So horse racing, dog racing, puppy mills and other horrors still exist because too many politicians refuse to put compassion above profit margins.


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Reopening the door to horse slaughter plants an idiotic move

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Late last month, the US Department of Agriculture granted an application in New Mexico to open a horse-slaughter plant. And the same thing could happen in Iowa and Missouri.

It is still possible the USDA might not be granted the funding to inspect the plants, which would block the move.

An Associated Press article posted June 28 offered this tidbit:

The decision comes more than six months after Valley Meat Co. sued the USDA, accusing it of intentionally delaying the process because the Obama administration opposes horse slaughter.

I think arguments such as this fall under the category of “Crybaby.” So it’s no fair that someone disagrees with them on the issue? Is that a legal argument? Will “Waaaah, Mommy, they don’t think the way I think” stand up in court?

Thankfully, the USDA reports the Obama administration has asked Congress to reinstate the ban on horse slaughter.

The article also cites a 2011 Government Accountability Office report suggesting the abuse and abandonment of horses has been rising since the ban on slaughter went on the books in 2006.

So I’ll ask this extremely important question: It is right to punish the horses because they are being abused and abandoned by people and because they are being over-bred to levels that are leading to increased populations of homeless horses?

What kind of illogical thought leads some people to want to punish the victims?


PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic