Saturday, October 11, 2008

Magna Tracks Enact No-Slaughter Ban

Magna tracks enact slaughter policy

Magna Entertainment Corp. will not allow any owner or trainer found to have transported horses from one of its facilities to a slaughter facility or to an auction to sell horses for slaughter to obtain stalls at any of its tracks.

The policy reads: “Any trainer or owner stabling at an MEC facility who directly or indirectly participates in the transport of a horse from an MEC facility to either a slaughterhouse or an auction house engaged in selling horses for slaughter will be prohibited from having stalls at any MEC facility. The policy also applies to any actions related to the transport of a horse from an MEC facility where the ultimate intended result is the horse's slaughter.”

The company, which owns Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park, Pimlico Race Course, and Laurel Park among other tracks, announced the new guidelines on Friday.

In June, Suffolk Downs became the first North American track to enact such a policy, stating that any trainer found to have sold a horse for slaughter would have his stalls revoked and be denied stalls in the future.

Last month, Suffolk Downs officials informed an unnamed Thoroughbred owner that he was no longer welcome at the Boston track after two horses associated with him were discovered at the auction pens at New Holland, Pennsylvania.

"Since the inception of MEC, we have taken care to protect the health and safety of [its] customers, workers, and equine athletes participating in activities at all of our facilities,” Magna Chairman Frank Stronach said in a statement. “The goal of the policy is to forewarn industry participants who participate in the slaughter of racehorses that they are not welcome at any of our facilities across the country. I hope other racetrack owners formally adopt similar policies."

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