The battle over banning the diuretic Lasix for 2-year-old race horses comes down to this: Some thoroughbred owners and trainers are fighting to keep drugging horses unnecessarily. Every other jurisdiction in the world outside of North America races without Lasix — and has far fewer deaths on the track (”Pimlico owners want state to ban drug widely used on horses on race day,” July 6).
Horse racing is killing horses and the debilitating effects of Lasix may very well contribute to that. Horses who bleed from the lungs from the stress of racing should not be drugged and sent out to risk their lives. They should not race at all.
If trainers and owners are going to dig in their heels at every change proposed to end some of the abuse and suffering in the industry, their motives are clear — the horses’ health comes second to gaining a competitive edge. The Maryland Racing Commission should stand up and do what’s right for the horses.
Kathy Guillermo, Washington, D.C.
The writer is senior vice president for equine matters at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
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