ARCADIA, Calif. (KCAL/CNN) - ARCADIA, Calif. (KCAL/CNN) - Tempers flared at a horse racing board meeting over the recent deaths of more than two dozen horses at Santa Anita Park.
Critics call for the historic park’s closure. Supporters say necessary changes have been made and that there are more to come.
At least two people were escorted out of the meeting.
“All I see here is a bunch of single women,” said a man who was escorted out. “A bunch of single women criticizing what we do here.”
During the public forum, passions emitted from both sides in light of 25 horses euthanized there since December.
"End horse racing now," said one person.
The death toll is now taking a toll.
"That hurts," said Karen Valco, a Santa Anita veterinarian who has practiced for 32 years.
“Lost one and I wanted to cry,” said Ron McInally, a trainer at Santa Anita.
Those who work at the park, and those who oversee the industry state-wide said changes have been made, and more to come.
But critics said it’s not enough.
“Even if there is reform and less horses are being killed, horses are still being killed,” said Heather Wilson, an animal rights activist.
With the death toll climbing, Santa Anita was shutdown to investigate the cause.
Commissioner Chuck Winner co-wrote SB 469 that he expects to pass in the state assembly.
It would allow the commissioners to quickly shutdown any track in the state due to health concerns for horses and/or jockeys.
They are also limiting the use of Lasix for horses.
Santa Anita officials said since the shutdown in the winter, there have been close to, 9,000 fast workouts or races, and out of these, three horses have died.
They view that number as favorable - critics simply do not.
"It needs to end, this is an antiquated sport," Wilson said.
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