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DA Lacey Announces Task Force to Investigate Horse Deaths at Arcadia’s Santa Anita Park

Santa Anita will cooperate with the investigation. – Photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

In light of 23 horse deaths at Arcadia’s Santa Anita Racetrack, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced Tuesday that she is forming a task force to investigate this string of deaths.

In a statement, Lacey said, “I have formed a task force of experienced deputy district attorneys and sworn peace officers with varied expertise within my office who will thoroughly investigate and evaluate the evidence to determine whether unlawful conduct or conditions affected the welfare and safety of horses at Santa Anita Park.”

Earlier this month, Senator Feinstein called on the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) to suspend racing at Santa Anita until an investigation could be completed. The call came after the 23rd fatality on March 31 which prompted animal rights activists to call for a complete ban on horse racing.

After that latest fatality Santa Anita and CHRB announced reforms within the sport.

According to ABC News, Mike Willman, director of publicity for Santa Anita Park, said the following in a statement: “Santa Anita has, is and will continue to fully cooperate with the district attorney’s investigation.” Willman continued, “The Stronach Group is fully committed to modernizing our sport in a way that prioritizes the welfare and safety of horses above all. We will work with anyone—including the district attorney’s office—that share our commitment to this cause.”

April 16, 2019

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