Animal Cruelty Laws

The current laws meant to safeguard against animal cruelty in the United States do not protect animals used for sport and entertainment.In this essay, I will discuss only animals used for thoroughbred racing, greyhound racing, and circuses.I will not include zoos, farming of animals, hunting, or vegetarianism in this discussion.I will review the inadequacies and poorly enforced laws that are currently meant to protect animals from human cruelty.
Neglect and intentional harm constitute the two types of animal cruelty, as categorized by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) ("Animal Cruelty: FAQ", 2002).Both types of animal cruelty are present in the "sport" of horse racing.Drug abuse, lameness, insufficient veterinary care and long road trips are all indications of animal cruelty, requiring better laws and enforcement in the racing industry."The American Association of Equine Practitioners says 60 to 90 percent of racehorses are significantly lame" ("Horse Racing: A Losing Bet", 2002).Many of these lame horses are forced to race on fractured legs by being treated with drugs to reduce the pain.Drugs are used to suppress the symptoms without treating the underlying medical problems, which can lead to permanent physical impairments ("Horse Racing: A Losing Bet", 2002).Veterinarian Gregory Ferraro states, "In general, treatments designed to repair a horse's injuries and to alleviate its suffering are now often used to get the animal out onto the track to compete-to force the animal, like some punch-drunk fighter, to make just one more round.Equine veterinary medicine has been misdirected from the art of healing to the craft of portfolio management" ("Horse Racing: A Losing Bet", 2002).Because of this type of drug abuse, one horse in every twenty-two races was "so severely injured that they could not fin…

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