Monday, May 05, 2008

Eight Belles' Death - Overdue Last Straw for Animal Cruelty

News Alert from PETA:

After crossing the finish line in last Saturday's Kentucky Derby, a young filly named Eight Belles collapsed when both her front ankles snapped. She was euthanized in the dirt where she lay, the latest victim of the dirty business of thoroughbred racing.

Eight Belles' death is yet another reminder that horses are raced when they are so young that their bones have not properly formed, and they are often raced on surfaces that are too hard for their bones, such as the hard track at Churchill Downs. Eight Belles' jockey whipped her mercilessly as she came down the final stretch. Trainers, owners, and jockeys are driven by the desire to make money, and the horses suffer terribly for it.

PETA is calling on the racing industry to suspend the jockey and trainer; bar the owner from racing at the track; stop racing horses on hard tracks and switch to softer, synthetic surfaces to spare horses' bones and joints; permanently ban the use of whips; and, at the very least, stop using young horses who are so susceptible to these types of horrific injuries.

Although Eight Belles' death, like Barbaro's death before hers, made headlines, countless lesser-known horses suffer similar fates away from public eye. These horses' broken legs and battered bodies are hidden from public view. Most racehorses end up broken down, cast off, or are sent to Europe for slaughter.

You can take action now to help prevent cruelty in the racing industry by asking the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority to institute sweeping reforms that would stop needless, preventable suffering.

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