Efforts by the Los Angeles Board of Animal Services to send a non-binding recommendation to the city council opposing horse racing in California fell one vote short of the required majority during a meeting on Tuesday at the South Los Angeles animal shelter.
The motion by commissioner Roger Wolfson received two votes, with one opposed, but for passage needed approval from at least three of the five commissioners, two of whom did not attend Tuesday's meeting.
There are no racetracks in the city of Los Angeles, with Santa Anita – which experienced a highly publicized spike in equine fatalities earlier this year – located in nearby Arcadia. According to MyNewsLA.com, Wolfson had considered proposing support of a ban on off-track wagering in Los Angeles.
Wolfson suggested California racetracks can be turned into horse sanctuaries, using elephant sanctuaries in India as an example to follow.
Animal rights extremists and horse industry advocates in attendance spoke on the issue. Board president Larry Gross, who voted against the measure, expressed concern about potential job loss if horse racing ended in California and questioned whether the issue fell under the board's purview.
Wolfson said he plans to bring the issue up again at a future meeting. The Animal Services Board meets again Aug. 13 at 9 a.m. PT at Los Angeles City Hall.
The Los Angeles City Council has enacted a number of animal welfare laws, including a prohibition on the manufacture or sale of fur that will go into effect in 2021.
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