Last week, in response to the kill cluster at Saratoga (five in five days), I was interviewed by WAMC, Albany’s NPR affiliate. Of course, the New York Racing Association was afforded more space (than I) to spew their excrement, and the article really only talks about one death (Maple Leaf Mel – who else?), and the title itself was extremely biased, but it’s coverage for our side nonetheless. This exchange in particular was worth it:
Patrick Battuello, founder of non-profit watchdog Horseracing Wrongs, contends animal cruelty and deaths are baked into racing – and most incidents aren’t carried on national TV like the Test Stakes was.
“Knowing going in that horses will die, absolutely guaranteed, are you comfortable with that? And it doesn’t really matter how many. Those are 15 beautiful, intelligent, sentient lives that are lost each summer for $2 bets and for frivolous entertainment,” he said. “And if you’re comfortable with that, then so be it. But if you’re not, there is no other choice here.”
McKenna [NYRA’s spokesperson] disputes that characterization. “We don’t believe so,” he said. “We aspire to get that number to zero.”
Zero kills. Lies, lies, and more lies. (Full piece here.)
Also, I was a recent guest on the Animals Today podcast. I thank Peter and Lori, longtime hosts and wonderful advocates, for the great opportunity.