Rodeos: Make electro-shocking horses illegal

•  SIGN THE PETITION »

Rodeos across the nation are sold as fun for the whole family, but they often have a dark underbelly of animal abuse. 

Recent footage of a rodeo held at the Rowell Ranch Rodeo Park in Castro Valley, California, confirms that this event was no different. These horses, who are already under an immense amount of stress, are being electro-shocked when they don’t perform the way their riders and handlers want them to.

Right now, under California law, the heinous act of tazing a tame, trapped animal is punishable only by a measly $2,000. But in the same state, animal cruelty is a felony, punishable by imprisonment. This discrepancy is leaving vulnerable horses in danger. 

Sign the petition demanding that California State Legislature amend California Penal Code Section 597 to make the electro-shock of horses an act of animal cruelty, and charge those responsible accordingly!

CREDITS
Featured Image: Shutterstock

RELATED READING
Handlers Caught on Video Cruelly Electro-Shocking Horses at Popular Rowell Ranch Rodeo, One Green Planet, 

 

 

US Racing: Santa Anita kicks off 2020 killing yet another racehorse

A rider on the training track at Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia, Calif. on March 8. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

ARCADIA, California (Jan. 1, 2020) — Golden Birthday took a bad step in the stretch at Santa Anita, unseating his jockey who was trying to pull the horse up. Veterinarians recommended that the four year old gelding be euthanized, although it wasn’t immediately clear what his injury was.

Santa Anita killed a reported 37 horses in 2019.

NOT A CRIME

You may have noticed that racehorse death reports at the end of last year were slipping in references to last December’s investigation by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office which reportedly found there is no indication of animal cruelty or criminal activity in the Santa Anita horse deaths. Well, no. Of course not.

Can American horse racing — especially in California — get any more obnoxious?

Horse racing needs to be banned outright. There is no way to reform an industry full of individuals with the sort of mentality they consistently display. Sadly American racehorses are hardly alone. This same sort of thinking and gruesome practices is show up across horse racing around the world.

In the meantime, California Governor Newsome has done a disappearing act. How many horses do they need to kill at Santa Anita before someone, anyone, puts a stop to it?

RELATED READING

•  Santa Anita race track has 1st horse death of the new year after a deadly 2019; CBS News; Jan. 2, 2020

•  Two horses have died at Santa Anita since Dec. 26; LA Times;  Jan. 2, 2020 »

•  Investigation into horse deaths at Santa Anita finds no unlawful conduct; LA Times; Dec. 19, 2019

•  Op-Ed: Jane Smiley: The deaths of Santa Anita remind me why I don’t miss horse racing; LA Times; Mar. 10, 2019

FEATURED IMAGE
A rider on the training track at Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia, Calif. on March 8, 2019. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times).

 

More illegal horse racing discovered in Texas

Nine people were indicted on Dec. 19 by a Parker County grand jury for operating an illegal horse racing meet in Springtown, Texas, located 30 miles northwest of Fort Worth.

The Parker County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division, Texas Racing Commission and other agencies discovered the illegal horse racing in October. Dozens of horses were involved, some racing more than twice during the same weekend. Police confiscated an unspecified amount of cash and also recovered a number of syringes, drug paraphernalia and electrical shocking devices used to stimulate horses to run faster.

“Some of the syringes were empty and some were full,” said Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler. “The substances are being tested for illegal substances, potentially harmful to equines. It allows a horse to be pushed to the limits under a race, but can cause serious health conditions and even result in the death of a horse.”

Police estimated more than 1,000 people were in attendance during the illegal races. No spectators were arrested. Some of those indicted are facing detainers from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

SO . . . ?

The concerns the Parker County Sheriff expressed about the mistreatment of horses in illegal horse racing, as admirable as that is, just so happens to occur as a matter of routine at licensed racetracks with licensed betting. Here again is what the Parker County Sheriff’s office reported:

“Police .  .  . also recovered a number of syringes, drug paraphernalia and electrical shocking devices used to stimulate horses to run faster.”

And . . .

“The substances are being tested for illegal substances, potentially harmful to equines. It allows a horse to be pushed to the limits under a race, but can cause serious health conditions and even result in the death of a horse . . .”

So you can get away with all that at a licensed racetrack — unlicensed you might get into trouble.

Source: The Weatherford Democrat (online), Dec 24, 2019.

RELATED READING

•  Horses abandoned in California after being used for illegal horse racing, Nov 14, 2015, The Horse Fund.

Updated 12.26.19

California Prosecutor finds no crime in Santa Anita horse racing deaths

Mongolian Groom. Sports Illustrated image.

The New York Times reported the following story filed by the Associated Press:

A California prosecutor found no evidence of animal cruelty or other crimes during an investigation into a spike in horse deaths at Santa Anita Park racetrack over the past year, according to a report issued Thursday.

A task force formed by the Los Angeles district attorney looked at a decade’s worth of data and found that 49 horses died at Santa Anita Park during the 12-month period ending in June, fewer than the 71 who perished in 2011-12 but more than the 37 who died in 2010-11.

It also found that the deaths had occurred at a rate higher than the national average, but lower than some years in the past decade and lower than Churchill Downs in Kentucky.

The investigation was one of several actions taken after 23 horse deaths at the California track during the winter-spring season from Dec. 30 to March 31 caused an outcry that included calls to shut down horse racing in the state, regulatory changes and proposed legislation.

There is much more to this story. In the meantime, here is the report.

SANTA ANITA TASK FORCE REPORT OF INVESTIGATION, 19 PP, 3 MB, PDF »

FEATURED IMAGE: Mongolian Groom. Sports Illustrated photo.

Updated Dec 23, 3:43pm, Louisville KY