Racing Horses Are Treasured Not Abused

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The horse racing industry has a bitter new enemy, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, otherwise known as PETA.

The animal rights organization is protesting the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority on Tuesday.

PETA says it wants major changes in the industry, including a ban on using the whip or racing horses younger than three.

This campaign against the industry was launched shortly after Kentucky Derby contender Eight Belles was euthanized on the track directly after running the Derby.

Kirsten Johnson, owner of KESMARC, a horse and animal rehabilitation center says PETA is making statements it knows nothing about. She says only the on-site veterinarian and trainers could have decided if it was right to put Eight Belles down.

She also says there is some things we just won't know until the horse's autopsy is returned. "Let's get the facts. There could be some facts that play here and shed light into why it happened and give us a better explanation,” she said.

Johnson also says that racing horses are some of the most well kept animals in the world, and that outsiders should see what goes on behind the scenes.

"People would be very, very amazed at the level of money that is spent on these animals,” Johnson added. “Some of them that are not going to return to a high level of training, their owners just want to ensure that they have a good quality of life.”

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