At the April California Horse Racing Board meeting, the vice-chair, Madeline Auerbach, was rude and condescending, suggesting activists take up children’s causes instead. Oh, and she also said this: “Our horses do not go to slaughter.”
As I wrote at the time, she is either unforgivably ignorant or a cynical liar. Well, Ms. Auerbach has doubled down. Yesterday, at the May meeting (audio here, May 23, Segment B, beginning around 35:00 mark), Auerbach said the following in response to an activist’s presentation of slaughter facts:
“Had you paid attention to anything I said, but you weren’t paying attention, maybe you will now. I spoke about California, I spoke about our Thoroughbreds, and I spoke about what we do if we ever find out that anybody has shipped a horse, one of our Thoroughbreds to slaughter, and that is banning them from the sport.
I know you think I’m powerful, but if you think I can control what goes on in the rest of this country and be responsible for it, I can’t. The only thing that I am able to do is to make sure that in California we take not only care of our Thoroughbreds, keep them away from any harm, but ban people who would cause harm to them, that’s why we are the only state that has a program that when these horses retire we have a way to take care of them, make sure they go to good homes. We do not, we will not, allow slaughter for our Thoroughbreds in California…”
Board chair the Honorable Chuck Winner (really, that’s his title) chimed in:
“You can stand up here and talk about all the numbers and do everything that you want with respect to slaughter, but I don’t think you know the facts about California and what we do for aftercare. …We absolutely prohibit it, we don’t want it, we will not allow it to happen, period.”
That’s right, “all [those] numbers” apply everywhere except California. Look, juxtapose the Auerbach statement “we take care of our Thoroughbreds, keep them away from harm, [and] ban people that cause harm to them” with this fact direct from the CHRB itself: over 5,000 dead racehorses at California tracks since 1998. And now, re-read their risible statements on slaughter. They deceive because they have to: Their product kills horses inherently and extensively.
When you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. When you have the truth on your side, pound the truth. When you have moral progress on your side, pound moral progress. When you have none of those, pound the table and distract like hell. Mr. Winner, Ms. Auerbach – your old road is rapidly agin’…the times they are a-changin’.