In November 2020, the Golden Gate Fields horse racing track was forced to shut down after a coronavirus outbreak there infected more than 300 people. But it reopened in 2021 and that year, just like 2020, dozens of horse died at the track. The rising death toll has garnered concern from the public and the California Horse Racing Board, which narrowly approved a six-month license for the track in December. We are calling for the track to be shut down permanently, for the horses and the workers.
Instead of using this valuable land space for an outdated industry that profits off gambling and animal cruelty, it could be used to house members of our community who sleep on the streets.
Horses are raced as young as 2 years old, even though their bones are still developing until they are 5. Devices like twitches (tongue ties) and stud chains (attached to the halter and going under the upper lip against the gum) are commonly used to get young horses into the starting gate. Horses are drugged to mask pain, hiding smaller injuries that lead to catastrophic injuries during exertion. Horses are fed a diet for speed and energy, not health, so many horses develop ulcers that lead to colic from poor diets too high in sugar.
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association reports that half of all horses bred for racing go to slaughter.
It's time to end this violent industry and start respecting and protecting horses.
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