As the Kentucky Derby fast approaches, PETA is calling for another major reform regarding the thoroughbred horseracing industry's dirty secret—that more than 10,000 thoroughbred horses from the U.S. alone end up slaughtered for meat every year. At a news conference on Wednesday, the group will put a face on the issue by presenting Coming Home, whom PETA saved only hours before her impending slaughter. Coming Home is the granddaughter of 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled and the cousin of Eight Belles, who suffered a catastrophic breakdown in the 2008 Kentucky Derby. Coming Home raced 16 times without winning a race and was then purchased by a “killer” for meat for $200. She will now live out her life in peace and safety, but PETA wants the Jockey Club to adopt a concrete plan to safeguard the future of all other cast-off racers who are greedily bred and then disposed of when they do not win.
PETA has called a news conference for Wednesday, May 4 at 11 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Hotel at Louisville Airport.
“Coming Home—and the 10,000 thoroughbreds who are sentenced to a terrifying death every year—are proof that the glamour of horseracing is a deadly illusion,” says PETA Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “The racing industry and those who support it have these horses' blood on their hands—but they can wash it off by ponying up for a retirement fund.”
PETA is urging the Jockey Club to adopt the group's new Thoroughbred 360 Lifecycle Fund, which would provide funds for the retirement of racehorses who are now sent to slaughter. The fund, which could be administered by the Jockey Club Registry, would require owners and breeders to pay a $360 “retirement” fee whenever they register a foal, generating more than $20 million per year toward humane retirement. More than two-thirds of the 30,000 new thoroughbred foals bred every year by the racing industry in the U.S. will be rejected as losers. Equine rescue organizations can only save a minuscule percentage of them.
A video featuring footage of Coming Home at auction as well as footage of breeding at a prominent thoroughbred farm is available here.
For more information, please visit PETA.org.
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