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Saturday, 21 October 2017

MFOA Investigates Maine's Harness Racing Industry
Written by MFOA   
Wednesday, 05 October 2011

October 5, 2011                                        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Robert Fisk, Jr.
207-756-3455

Maine's leading animal protection organization says animal cruelty reason to vote NO on Racino referendum

(Falmouth) Maine Friends of Animals (MFOA) today announced that it is urging voters to vote No on Question 2, the Racino referendum, which, if passed, would allow two new harness racing tracks to be built. The group says harness racing is a cruel, outdated and dying industry that could not survive without heavy state subsidies. It provided a fact sheet supporting its position.

MFOA claims that many harness racing horses are kept in stalls for 22 hours a day, experience excessive whipping and kicking during races, are sometimes beaten after races, are subject to drugging to enhance performance and given pain killers so they can race, and that the Maine harness racing industry supports horse slaughter as an outlet for the overbreeding of race horses.

"It is all about money. The animal is a disposable commodity to the harness racing industry," said MFOA President and Director, Robert Fisk, Jr.  "It is a miserable life for horses while racing, and after a short career, typically three to five years, they become unwanted. Standardbred horses are the predominant breed at overflowing rescue facilities, and some experience horrific transport to Canada, where they are slaughtered. This magnificent animal has served us in so many ways, so well, so long and so nobly. No horse deserves this existence and cruel fate so harness racing can breed a few money makers.  It is time to put a true face on the industry," said Fisk.

Maine Friends of Animals is the state's largest animal protection organization. It promotes the humane treatment of animals through education, advocacy and legislation.  MFOA has spent the last two years focusing on horses, particularly the growing number of unwanted horses in Maine. The group says its research indicates that the public is not aware of the toll the harness racing industry takes on horses.  

MFOA also says that harness racing would not be a viable business if it did not receive more than $2 million in subsidies each year from the state's share of casino revenue. Even with the subsidy, harness racing attendance declines each year, and there is no evidence anywhere that slot machines have revived or could revive the harness racing business.

"Why in the most serious of financial times are we using taxpayers' money to shore up an inhumane, outdated and dying industry when these millions could be used for economic development, education and other badly needed services?," queried Fisk.

MFOA is asking its statewide membership and volunteers to pass out fact sheets and work with other anti-Casino groups to defeat the Racino referendum. For more information, contact the MFOA office at 207-781-2187, email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit http://www.mfoa.net/.

Related links:
Harness Racing Fact Sheet
Maine Harness racing fines & suspensions

 
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