December 11, 2007  




The bill that will legalize gambling on horse racing in Israel is about to be introduced in the Knesset. It is urgent that we have strong lobbying and media efforts to educate Knesset members and the public about the cruelties inherent in the racing industry in order to block passage of this bill.
Cruelty to horses is already a very significant problem in Israel, and there is no infrastructure to deal with it. Municipal vets admit they don't take abused horses away from their abusers because they have no place to put them. Multiply this problem by thousands the plan calls for importing 2,000 horses for racing in the first year.
Lobbying and public relations are expensive. Please read about what is at stake, and please give generously to CHAI's campaign to prevent this industry from becoming established in Israel.
The racing industry presents an image of glamour, but in reality, it is filled with cruelty, corruption, and death.



Glamour: Barbaro winning the Kentucky Derby. In his next race his leg was shattered, and he was euthanized at three years old. (Photo: MSNBC)


Death: Two-year-old Pine Island breaks her leg on the track and is destroyed, just one of thousands who die in training or on the track every year.
(Photo: Louisville Courier-Journal, Kentucky)



  This year in England, a racehorse died nearly every other day on the track. An average of 375 horses are raced to death every year in that country alone. One-third die on racecourses, while the others are destroyed as a result of training injuries, or are killed because they are no longer fast enough to earn money. In all countries, most racehorses suffer from bleeding in the lungs, which can be fatal, and chronic stomach ulcers. Some have heart attacks from the unnatural exertion.
(Photo: Animal Aid)



Corruption: This cruel industry is filled with corruption in every country where it exists. Widespread drugging of horses to enhance performance or dull pain so they can race even while injured was the subject of a New York Times front page article. Insurance fraud killing slow horses to collect insurance money has been repeatedly exposed in the U.S. media. In one case, for example, a horse's legs were tied to a truck and broken as the truck drove away.


A downward spiral of abuse




A former racehorse and her foal
in England (Photo: Animal Aid)


A horse collapses on the street in Israel.
These episodes will become increasingly
common. (Photo: Ha'aretz)


The end of the line: Every year, the same number of horses leave racing as enter it. Like all countries where there is racing, Israel will either have to go into the horse slaughter business or into the cruel live-export trade, transporting horses abroad to end up on dinner plates.



Horse slaughterhouse in England: Inevitable consequence of racing (Photo: Animal Aid)


Live export: American horses on their brutal journey to death (Photo: HSUS)



If this industry is so ruthless, why would it now be allowed to enter Israel, a country where racing never existed before except on a tiny scale? Because now money is at stake: gambling, on which the racing industry depends, generates huge sums of money. It also generates social welfare problems, including crime and the breakup of families. The Chief Rabbi of Israel has issued a ruling stating that the racing industry violates Jewish law, which prohibits gambling and cruelty to animals.
We have amassed a great deal of factual information about racing, all of which is available on our website. Experts from around the world have offered their testimony, confirming the inherent cruelty of horseracing. See our Horse Racing Q and A page for answers to some frequently asked questions.
CHAI has fought against bringing racing into Israel for nearly three years. The campaign has been extremely expensive, and most people have assumed the horses can't possibly win against such powerful money interests.
PLEASE help us show that compassion can be stronger than greed. This is our only chance to stop this grotesque industry from entering Israel.



Please send your tax-deductible donations to:
CHAI, POB 3341, Alexandria, VA 22302, USA, or
donate through our website.


Yours for a more compassionate world,

Nina Natelson

CHAI - Concern for Helping Animals in Israel
PO Box 3341, Alexandria, VA 22302

Phone: 703-658-9650