ASPCA Urges Immediate Suspension of Racing at Santa Anita

April 9, 2019

Horse behind bars

The death of a single horse is a tragedy, but the deaths of 23 horses used for sport and entertainment is a crisis. And yet, that’s exactly what has occurred at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. The wave of horse deaths since December 26 remains an unsolved mystery.

Joining Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board and others, ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker wrote an open letter to the California Horse Racing Board calling for the suspension of all racing and training activity at Santa Anita Park until an exact cause of these deaths can be pinpointed and addressed.

Despite extended track closures for investigations and increased, longer-term protective measures such as banning whips and race-day medication, assurances of safety have not prevented further tragedy. The lives of these animals must be a top priority, and we hope the California Horse Racing Board will agree that the track must do whatever is necessary to prevent the death toll from rising. 

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