Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Monday, May 19, 2008

Losing Race Horses Euthanized in Puerto Rico

Race horses who lose in Puerto Rico are likely to be put down.
More than 400 horses, many in perfect health, are killed each year by lethal injection at a clinic tucked behind the Hipodromo Camarero racetrack, chief veterinarian Jose Garcia told The Associated Press after checking clinic log books going back seven years.

Unlike on the U.S. mainland, where many former racehorses are retrained for riding or sent to special refuges, the animals have few options in this U.S. Caribbean territory. Owners say caring for and feeding a losing racehorse is too expensive....

The killing of so many racehorses in Puerto Rico isn't happening because they have suffered a serious injury, like Eight Belles, the filly euthanized after breaking both front ankles racing in the Kentucky Derby on May 3. Here, even when a second home is available, veterinarians say that some owners want losing horses executed anyway _ some to save money, others to have revenge.

"You'll get a few owners who get so upset, they just want the horse dead," said veterinarian Shakyra Rosario.

Photo by rfatoday.

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