PETA’s video report on the abuses in horse racing

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PETA released the following report this week, with undercover video concerning the horrors of horse racing. The New York Times focused on the news as well.

When profit motives are mixed with animals – most notably here with animal racing – the outcome is routinely horrible for the animals.

Now is the time to ban horse racing and greyhound racing. For every day that passes, horses and dogs are dying at alarming rates, while countless more are suffering.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Greyhound and horse breeders mad about proposed cut in subsidies

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Breeders of race horses and greyhounds are mad that they won’t get as much free taxpayer money from the West Virginia lottery, under a new bill. I wonder if putting more of the funds into programs where they should go – for education or mental health programs, etc – seems unfair to these breeders.

The breeders would get 15 percent less in subsidies under the plan. And make no mistake that this is taxpayer funds we’re talking about, even though it’s a voluntary tax through the lottery. State lottery profits should go to programs that benefit people and animals.

The WV Gazette article includes the following:

Racing industry representatives contend the cut would be the final blow to horse and dog racing at the state’s four racetrack casinos.

So the industry can’t exist without the subsidies, funneled away from other programs. And even a 15 percent cut would mean an end to both racing industries; this from the industry insiders.

What does this really mean? It means the general population gets it and fewer and fewer people are gambling on animal races, as they understand the history of abuse. They know race horses have ended up in slaughterhouses and have been found to have been drugged. And they know untold numbers of greyhounds never made it out alive.

If an industry’s business is so bad that it cannot survive without subsidies, it’s time for it to go away. Why would two industries with a history of animal exploitation somehow get this level of government protection? I’m sure other struggling businesses would love to have the government ensure they never fail.

The WV Gazette article notes the racing industry received 87.6 million in Lottery subsidies last year.

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Wacky Mentality Award: Rep. Marsha Blackburn on Horse Soring

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This one ranks as unbelievable. Marsha Blackburn, a congresswoman from Tennessee, is speaking out against legislation that would strengthen the ban horse soring.

The practice involves using corrosive chemicals on the legs of some show horses, in a cruel effort to make them step high for shows. They are known as gaited show horses and are used in competitions. And as we see with greyhound racing and horse racing and other similar industries, where there is this level of competition, there are people who will do anything to win.

But Blackburn thinks it’s too much regulation. A piece on Huffington Post published earlier today quotes her in a hearing as saying:

“This legislation brings excessive regulatory burdens on the walking horse industry and could potentially eliminate the entire industry and thus the entire breed.”

So she believes we should not ban severe acts of cruelty because it could hurt the business where the cruelty takes place. And although she doesn’t seem to possess the self-awareness to understand what she is actually saying – she is actually saying the cruelty should be allowed, so that the industry can thrive.

It is far from being an “excessive regulatory burden” to ban cruelty. Blackburn’s lack of knowledge concerning the severity of this practice and concerning the suffering the horses endure in training is troubling. And her lack of logical thought here is staggering.

And the Huffington Post piece also notes trainers “use heavy weights or painful chains on the horses’ hooves.”

I applaud Kentucky Rep. Ed Whitfield for introducing the bill to protect horses. But for her efforts, Marsha Blackburn is more than deserving of a Wacky Mentality Award.

 

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

Two articles – two typical quotes from industry insiders

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One of the common themes from Big Oil and industries that exploit animals are the typical quotes spewed by the insiders when the time comes to defend cases where animals are harmed or die.

After the recent rupture of Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline in Arkansas the company put out a written statement concerning the impact of the estimated 84,000 gallons of crude spilled into the area.

One sentence from the statement read –

“The majority of the impacted wildlife has been reptiles, primarily venomous snakes.”

This obviously is wrong, as the oil cannot pick and choose the animals it swamps – and the quote relates to the live animals found. And of course, the statement is meant as propaganda, as if no one would care if snakes were the primary victims. And what? – Were non-venomous snakes somehow spared?

In the UK, horse racing defenders are taking a page out of the greyhound racing industry. Prior to a horse dying after a Grand National race, a jockey was quoted by the Cambridge News as saying the race horses receive better treatment than “many children.”

Animal Aid reports the horse was the 23rd to die during the Grand National since 2000. In the Fox Hunters’ Chase, several horses reported pulled up or fell, described as being “potentially injured.”

So are “many children” forced to race in events such as this. And would a civilized society allow an event go on where 23 kids died over this same time frame, with many more injured?

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic

Oklahoma Governor lifts ban on horse slaughter

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Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed new legislation Friday to lift the ban on horse slaughter in the state. And the quotes in an Associated Press article show Fallin has a complete lack understanding about this issue and a complete lack of knowledge where animal welfare is concerned.

The Governor is quoted as saying –

“Those of us who care about the wellbeing of horses – and we all should – cannot be satisfied with a status quo that encourages abuse and neglect, or that rewards the potentially inhumane slaughter of animals in foreign countries.”

To suggest that the wellbeing of horses and a change in the status quo should include an inhumane death is wrong on its face. The change should come from those responsible for creating the problem. We should force, for example, the horse racing industry to care from the animals it breeds, until the time of their natural deaths.

We should not allow inhumane slaughter – here or in foreign countries. Yes, horses are suffering and need help, but the solution should not be more suffering.

Once again, we have a politician who desperately wants to let the offenders off the hook, to the detriment of the innocent.

Horse rescue groups might be able to handle the cases where horses become homeless for more legitimate reasons, if not for the numbers who are constantly discarded by entities such as the racing industry.

Horse slaughter does not help horses, it merely adds another layer of profit for a select few – more profit from the suffering of horses.

 

PACK MENTALITY BLOG: Compassion - teamed with Science and Logic