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International Animal Rights Groups Appeal to Israeli Government to Rein In Horseracing Plan


PRESS RELEASE

 

 

 
 

Contents

 

 


Racing Cruelties:   The Horror Behind the Glamour

Racing Cruelties: Photos & Videos

Slaughter of Racehorses

In Memory of Ruffian

Horse Abuse & Rescue Overview

Premarin Horses

 

 


Slaughter at
the Racetrack

Slaughterhouse: Exposé of Horse Slaughter in the UK

Slaughterhouse:
Photos

 

 

 

5 December 2011, Ramat Gan

 

Photo credit: Animal Aid, UK

 

In honor of International Animal Welfare Day, December 10th, leading animal protection organizations in the U.S. and the U.K. today appealed to Israel’s Minister of the Agriculture, Orit Noked, through the Israeli charity Hakol Chai (everything lives), to halt plans to bring gambling on horseracing to Israel.

 

In letters to Minister Noked detailing experience with the industry in their countries, Animal Aid in the UK and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in the U.S. cited the cruelties and corruption inherent in this industry based on greed that no regulations or laws have been able to prevent or end, and of the heavy social and financial toll it extracts from society.

 

In Animal Aid’s appeal, Dene Stansall, the NGO’s expert consultant on the racing industry, addressed the industry’s five most problematic aspects: cruelty to horses; the negative impact on society, including anti-social behavior and the break-up of families wreaked by gambling addiction; the vast, expensive infrastructure required; the need for a large number of betters to lose money to support the industry - an impossibility in a country where racing is not a part of the culture; and the failure of all laws and supervisory bodies in other countries to prevent or stop the endemic cruelty and corruption that have led to the industry’s decline worldwide.

 

"Horse racing around the world is struggling to maintain financial stability," Stansall wrote. "Income is declining in the established racing nations. There is a surplus of horses and not enough owners willing to invest their money into which few get any profitable return....It would be naïve to believe that horse racing could generate any substantial income for the Government and the Israeli economy. On the contrary, the investment required for the industry would far outweigh any profitable returns."

 

Stansall also pointed out that despite British racing’s prominent position, "it has for decades been in a state of turmoil both in matters of regulation and fiscal control. Indeed, it is seen as having no effective power to stop corrupt betting and race-fixing. It has a poor record of protecting horses, and surrenders its rules to jockeys and other vested interest groups."

 

PETA’s Vice-President, Kathy Guillermo’s letter focused on the cruelties and the enormous suffering to horses bringing the industry to Israel would cause: "It is extremely common for both legal and illegal drugs to be used by trainers and veterinarians to force horses to run faster than they ever would under normal conditions....illegal drugs, including strong anti-inflammatories, painkillers and muscle relaxants are routinely injected into injured, sore horses to make them run when they should be recovering from strain or injury. This leads directly to breakdown and death." The high rate of breakdowns and deaths on U.S. tracks and the widespread drugging were the subject of recent U.S. Congressional hearings.

 

Israel is already contending with a host of serious issues that adversely affect horses, Guillermo added, "including water shortages, lack of land availability, inadequate animal protection laws and shortages of humane enforcement officers. If horse racing is permitted, these problems will only worsen, to the detriment of both humans and animals."

 

Tal Sahar, Professional Manager of Hakol Chai, cautioned the Minister to heed other countries’ experience. "We expect the Minister of Agriculture to act according to the Animal Protection Law, which the Agriculture Ministry is charged with enforcing, and prevent this industry from establishing a toehold in Israeli culture."

 

 

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