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

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

HBO sued concerning treatment of horses during the filming of the series “Luck”

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Isn’t it bad enough that horses are abused in horse racing? Did a series about horse racing have to go this route – allegedly at least?

A lawsuit charges a number of horses were drugged, underweight and sick during the production of the show. And the Guardian reports this – “” Barbara Casey’s suit filed Monday says she was wrongfully fired from her post at the American Humane Association after complaining about the conditions horses faced on the show … “” And it is claimed that four horses died during the filming.

Maybe we need movie based on the treatment of horses in the racing industry.

The New York Times ArtsBeat blog also has a post about this news.

More terrible news out of horse racing – doping

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Doping a problem in horse racing: The horse-racing news out of New Mexico is troubling. It offers more evidence that when we see the mixing of gambling and/or profit with animals, it outcome is usually bad for the animals. reports a relatively new substance known as “frog juice” is being used as a performance-enhancing drug. The article explains the results from recent testing showed “40 percent of the horses finishing ‘in the money’ in the 25 time trial races on May 25 were illegally drugged.”

And we have this – “Three prominent New Mexico horse trainers have been implicated in the dermorphin scandal.”

One person is quoted as saying horse racing needs to be cleaned up. The industry has known about doping for some time now. Profit is too strong a motivation. Winning is too strong a motivation. Cheating has too strong a hold. Cleaned up? – They should have started that process many years ago.

And the number of deaths, in horse racing and dog racing is far too much. It’s time to shut it all down. Let the jockeys and trainers take the place of the horses – and race around the track. That would be a sport. Horse racing is not a sport.

Pack Topics: Greyhound racing; horse racing

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Same old, same old out of the greyhound racing industry. An article posted Wednesday on the Arkansas Times website includes the misstatement from the industry that 90 percent of the dogs are adopted out when they leave racing.

But there are two problems: 1. – The numbers are hidden. And 2. – I once got an insider to admit in a blog comment exchange that he felt it would be silly to count the dogs the industry kills each year in the adoption percentages.

There is a lively exchange in the comment section under the Arkansas Times article and at the end of the story, an update has been posted, noting 47 greyhounds suffered injuries at the at Southland Park between January 1 and June 12, 2012.

AND – A New York Times story posted Tuesday alleges racehorses are being given a performance-enhancing drug made from a material drawn from the backs of a South American frog species. As the lab-testing procedures finally caught up, 30 horses from four states tested positive for dermorphin. It is suspected it helps horses run faster.

This is a key statement from the article: “” Indeed, dermorphin is the latest in a long list of illegal performance-enhancing drugs that have found their way onto racetracks. “”

This is an important indictment of the horse racing industry. One of the primary strategies seems to be to numb the horses to pain, so that they will continue to run through injuries and the pain.

The numbers highlight the cruelty of horse racing

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While NBC Sports spent the last month or so promoting the horse-racing industry while all but ignoring its dark side, at least some news outlets are reporting actual news.

This week, legitimate news title goes to CNN, for the story under the headline: “Animal welfare activists: Horse racing industry needs reform.”

The article includes this statement: “” The Jockey Club — the registry for thoroughbred horses in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico — estimates that 15 thoroughbreds die on American racetracks every week. Those figures do not include other breeds of horses that also race in the United States. “”

Nancy Perry of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reports horses are being injected with everything from cocaine to cancer drugs to snake venom to enhance performance.

As is the case in greyhound racing, attendance is dropping at horse races nationwide. Awareness about the cruelty of the industry in the ranks of the general public is growing. The ASPCA is calling for federal regulation of the industry. That would be great, but in reality, when you mix gambling with the desire for quick profit with animals, the outcome will not be good for the animals. It never is.

No one can justify the number of deaths each year in horse racing. No one can justify the losing horses being sent off to be tortured in slaughterhouses by untold numbers each year.

Pack Line Headlines: Horse trainer suspended; Class B dog and cat dealers under fire

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The Associated Press has reported Doug O’Neill, the trainer of race horse I’ll Have Another, has been suspended 45 days by the California Horse Racing Board. O’Neill has denied direct involvement in giving horses performance-enhancing substances, but the rules apparent hold the trainer ultimately responsible.

The AP story also included this tidbit – “” It was O’Neill’s third total carbon dioxide violation in California and fourth in his career. In 2010, he was suspended and fined for a similar offense involving one of his horses that ran in the Illinois Derby at Hawthorne Race Course in suburban Chicago. “”

The American Anti-Vivisection Society is claiming the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is “falling far short” of a goal to protect dogs and cats from abuse at the hands of research labs.

The AAVS reports – “” Most recently, AAVS has learned that R&R Research, a random source Class B dealer with multiple Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations, has been awarded a new license by the USDA. “”

The USDA should be the enforcement arm for the AWA. But the AAVS explains that in “2009 the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report detailing USDA’s failure to effectively manage random source Class B dealers.

Once again, we see the existing regulations and the enforcement of animal-welfare laws are very, very weak. Just the phrase “Class B dealer” should be cause for alarm.