Friday, May 9, 2008

Horse racing is cruel; don't support it

Editorial & Opinion - The Niagara Falls Review - Thursday, May 8, 2008

To read The Review's coverage of the opening of the Fort Erie Race Track, one would assume that winning money, hanging out with friends and drinking beer is what the track is all about. Sounds like a lot of fun - I might consider going myself, if it weren't for all the animal exploitation.

The truth is, horses at racetracks are worked hard - sometimes beaten - to win the race.

If I were to do to a dog what jockeys do to horses, I'd be charged with animal cruelty. But for some reason, this kind of abuse is allowed, even encouraged, by our society.

Some say the horses don't feel the whips. Then why use them? The answer is obvious: To make them go faster. The animals run faster to avoid the pain of the whip. It's not rocket science.

Racing horses can be deadly, too. The fact that you have large, muscular animals running very fast and on very thin legs means there will be injuries. Too often, these injuries are fatal. If an injured animal cannot be rehabilitated, or if the veterinary costs are too high, it is put down.

Supporters have argued that every precaution is taken to ensure the animals' safety but in the end, deaths are inevitable.

These animals don't volunteer. Their bodies are pushed beyond their limits and if injured, their lives are taken from them.

So maybe it's time to stop racing horses. Surely, we can find some other form of entertainment that doesn't exploit or endanger these beautiful and noble animals.

Daniel K. Wilson,
Niagara Center for Animal Rights Awareness,
St. Davids

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