Probe widens into deaths of 22 racehorses at Santa Anita Park near LA

The Los Angeles County District Lawyer’s Workplace has joined the inquiry into circumstances surrounding the current deaths of twenty-two horses at Santa Anita Park, considered one of America’s premiere thoroughbred racetracks, the agency stated on Friday.

Phrase that local regulation enforcement was concerned in looking for the underlying causes for the spate of deaths got here a day after Santa Anita announced an unprecedented ban on using medicine and whips in competition there.

Santa Anita suspended racing indefinitely in early March to launch its own investigation into whether or not monitor circumstances led to a unusually excessive number of breakdowns.

At the moment, a total of 21 horses had been euthanized for injuries suffered in competitors or training since Christmas, more than double the number of such fatalities throughout the complete earlier season.

On Thursday, a twenty second demise occurred when a 3-yr-previous filly named Princess Lili B broke both entrance legs on the end of a half-mile (800-meter) workout. The no-drug, no-whip coverage was announced inside hours by the Stronach Group, which owns racetrack.

A day earlier, federal legislation was reintroduced to ban race-day treatment and improve drug testing nationwide.

The animal rights group, Individuals for the Ethical Remedy of Animals (PETA), urged the prosecutor’s office to open an investigation earlier this month into whether any of the deaths constituted legal violations of state animal-cruelty laws.

The group was knowledgeable on Thursday that the D.A.’s animal cruelty case coordinator had completed so, stated Kathy Guillermo, a PETA senior vice chairman.

The D.A.’s office confirmed on Friday that a group from its Bureau of Investigations was assigned to work with the California Horse Racing Board, the sport’s regulatory physique, in analyzing the state of affairs at Santa Anita.

The board’s chief of enforcement, Shawn Loehr, also stated in a press release his company and the D.A.’s office have been collaborating in a “joint investigation.”

PETA stated it welcomed Santa Anita’s new restrictions as a “watershed moment” for racing, a sport that Guillermo stated claims the lives of as many as 2,000 horses annually nationwide.

Guillermo stated the treatment ban would come with anti-inflammatory medicine referred to as “bute,” which she stated have been excessively used to mask horses’ discomfort from pre-present injuries, retaining them in competition when they need to be resting.

It additionally covers the diuretic Lasix, used flush medicine from a horse’s bloodstream, making them more durable to detect in race-day testing, she stated.

While Guillermo acknowledged the need of analyzing monitor circumstances to find out hazards which may exist there, she stated race business officials have publicly minimized the position that medicine play in causing deadly injuries to animals.

“It’s a bizarre tradition,” she stated. “On the one hand they (race horses) are massive investments. But however, they’re not earning profits in the event that they aren’t racing.”

Reporting by Steve Gorman;…

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