Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, released the following statements regarding today's races at Pimlico Racetrack in Baltimore:
“We are devastated by the tragic death of Havnameltdown on Preakness day. This fatality, alongside a series of losses of racehorses’ lives prior to and since the Kentucky Derby, underscores the urgent need for immediate, sweeping reforms in the horse racing industry.
The ongoing incidence of doping scandals and the obstruction of reforms by organizations such as the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association reveal a systemic failure to protect racing’s equine athletes. These tragedies may be the downfall of horse racing as the horsemen’s groups, who are contributing to the sport’s waning appeal, hold the industry's fate in their hands.
The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act provides hope for a safer future for racehorses. The full and prompt implementation of its anti-doping and medication control program is critical. Opponents working to block racing reforms bear a share of the responsibility for racehorse deaths.
We must collectively strive for a zero-tolerance policy on practices and conditions that produce catastrophic injury to horses. These animals deserve better than to be treated as expendable assets in a high-stakes game. Stop gambling with racehorse lives.”