Magna Entertainment Corp. Adopts Policy Against Horse Slaughter

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Washington, D.C. -- The Animal Welfare Institute commends Magna Entertainment Corp's (MEC) adoption of a policy directly aimed at ensuring horses stabled and raced at any of Magna's countless racetracks don't end up in slaughterhouses. MEC owns and operates racetracks across the entire United States.

In a statement recently released, MEC wrote "any trainer or owner stabling at an MEC facility who directly or indirectly participates in the transport of a horse from an MEC facility to either a slaughterhouse or an auction house engaged in selling horses for slaughter will be prohibited from having stalls at any MEC facility. The policy also applies to any actions related to the transport of a horse from an MEC facility where the ultimate intended result is the horse's slaughter."

Magna's announcement comes on the heels of several actions within the racing industry in relation to horse slaughter. In June, Suffolk Downs of Massachusetts, a long time supporter of the Animal Welfare Institute's campaign to end horse slaughter instituted the first policy banning those involved in horse slaughter from their track. Soon after this policy went into effect, a trainer was caught sending a horse to slaughter and was immediately banned by Suffolk Downs. Later in the month while Congress was considering legislation to ban horse slaughter, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) surprised many by issuing a letter flipping on their long time support of legislation to end horse slaughter. The letter prompted a counter letter signed by 40 of the racing industry's leading owners, trainers and jockeys expressing their support for all legislation aimed at banning horse slaughter.

"Magna and their Chairman and CEO, Frank Stronach are to be congratulated for this monumental humane stand. For years Magna has supported our efforts to ban horse slaughter and now they join the growing ranks of organizations such as Suffolk Downs who will no longer tolerate irresponsible individuals operating on their tracks," noted Chris Heyde, deputy director government and legal affairs for the Animal Welfare Institute.

The Animal Welfare Institute calls on other organizations and horse industry leaders to join with Magna Entertainment Corp. and Suffolk Downs by barring those who wish to profit from the abuse and neglect of horses. "Nobody, including the racing industry, should turn a blind eye to the abuse and cruelty of horse slaughter. The racing industry can help by supporting federal legislation banning horse slaughter and by prohibiting those who supply the horse slaughter industry from racing anywhere in the United States, like Magna is doing," said Heyde.

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Media Contact:
Chris Heyde, (202) 446-2142

For over 57 years, the Animal Welfare Institute has been the leading voice for animals across the country and on Capitol Hill to reduce the sum total of pain and fear inflicted on animals by humans. To learn more about us, please visit www.awionline.org.