The Montana House of Representatives strongly endorsed a bill Feb. 24 that paves the way for construction of a horse slaughterhouse in Montana and aims to bring the industry back to the United States.
It tends to get lost in the shuffle because it's not as sexy as anabolic steroids, race-fixing, or catastrophic breakdowns from a media perspective. But talk to people who work in the horse industry every day, and they'll tell you the issue of unwanted horses is serious and so broad it impacts the entire United States, not just the horseracing industry.
As the House Subcommittee on Commerce and Consumer Protection prepared for a June 19 hearing on the horseracing industry, groups continued to weigh in on various issues, including use of anabolic steroids in racehorses.
About 25 supporters of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals staged a quiet demonstration outside the gates of Pimlico Race Course May 17, but horseracing enthusiasts -- and fans of the Preakness experience -- weren't as reserved.
Though their views and actions may at times be considered extreme and bizarre by some, animal rights and welfare groups have a large constituency, have proven effective at making their point, and shouldn't be disregarded when they seize on an issue, officials said.
In the wake of the death of the filly Eight Belles as she galloped out after the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), animal-rights organizations are publicly calling for changes -- some of them drastic -- for the horseracing industry.
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has signed legislation that outlaws killing horses for human consumption.
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