Feds Open a Probe on Equine Abuse

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Animal abuse is suspected on a U.S. to Puerto Rico horse shipment

According to the Associated Press (AP), “nearly 20 racehorses, packed inside a double-decker trailer, were forced into crouching positions during a four-day sea voyage from the United States to Puerto Rico — causing injuries that have prompted a federal animal abuse investigation.”

Many of the Thoroughbreds, according to the report, were badly injured when they arrived in Puerto Rico from Jacksonville, Fla., last month, and many were frantic.

The shipment, which is now under investigation by the U.S. Agriculture Department, involved a double-deck trailer designed for smaller animals. Animal rights advocates have long sought to make the trailers illegal for the transport of horses. Only a few states currently have laws on the books banning double-deck trailers.

The cruel transport was reported after Jose Garcia, chief veterinarian at the Canovanas racetrack in Puerto Rico, filed a complaint with police when the crammed trailer arrived on May 12.

“If you’re going to stick horses on a boat and keep them there for four days, they’ve got to have room to move,” Garcia is reported as saying.

Puerto Rican police tracked the shipment to a Miami-based export company, Optical People Inc., before handing the investigation off to federal authorities. The U.S. Agriculture Department is handling the probe.

According to the AP, the U.S. Caribbean territory imports hundreds of Thoroughbreds from the U.S. mainland each year, mostly by airplane, for racing.

10 COMMENTS

  1. That’s one of the most disgusting abuses I’ve ever heard of!!! I hope that company gets shut down asap – and I hope to god there are stiff jail sentences for these people!

  2. Absolutely disgusts me to see this kind of abuse. It’s about time someone reports these abuses. As the ASPCA says “we are their voice” and never should we let it be silenced!!!!!

  3. That is so sad for those animals. Yet it is soo sickening that those people would do that to such beautiful creatures. Diamond before I got him was abused and I could never figure it out why people would abuse an animal. I still can’t!!!!

  4. I really, really hope someone applauds Jose Garcia, the vet, for standing up to the big-money racing owners and trainers. I’ve seen too many track vets turn a blind eye, especially since this stuff happens all the time. I’ll bet he’s under a lot of pressure for that courageous move–he deserves some appreciation.

  5. SICK,SICK,BAD AND MONEY HUNGRY STUPID PEOPLE! PEOPLE WHO TRAVEL ANYWHERE ARE ALWAYS COMPLAINING ABOUT LEG ROOM, ETC., THAT IS INSANE-THIS MAKES ME ANGRY ABOUT ABUSE OF ANY ANIMAL—THANK YOU DOC GARCIA FOR BEING CONCERNED AND REPORTING DESPITE THE POLITICS

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