A 9-year-old horse named Kochees was the 26th horse to die at Santa Anita Race Track since the end of December.
PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo issued a statement after the death of Kochees calling for all California race tracks to be suspended “until the ongoing investigation by the district attorney is complete and the new rules have been strengthened.”
Guillermo continued, “Decreasing the number of broken bones is not enough. PETA and Social Compassion in Legislation are currently working with The Stronach Group and the California Horse Racing Board to enact new regulations and laws to stop all deaths. Nothing short of a zero-fatality rate is acceptable.”
Senator Feinstein called for Santa Anita to temporarily close. A statement from Feinstein said:
“Another horse has died at Santa Anita Race Track, the 26th in five months and the third in just nine days. How many more horses must die before concrete steps are taken to address what is clearly an acute problem?
“I once again call for an immediate moratorium on racing at Santa Anita. We need a thorough investigation of practices and conditions at the track before any more races are held.
“I believe we need to carefully review what medications horses are given and under what circumstances, as well as take a close look at the issue of overrunning horses, which may be contributing to deaths.
“Tracks in the United States have significantly higher rates of death than tracks overseas. We need to determine what we’re doing wrong in this country and fix it. If we can’t, we need to consider whether horseracing has a future here.”