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Illegal Gambling, Drugs, Death at Horse Track Probable, PETA Warns Sheriff

Doping, Electroshock Devices, Death Likely at Unsanctioned Memphis Horse Race; PETA Urges Sheriff to Investigate

For Immediate Release:
August 10, 2022

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Memphis, Tenn. – Shelby County’s sheriff has been told to look out for illegal gambling as well as horses being injected with methamphetamines and cocaine, electroshocked, or subjected to other acts of cruelty this weekend, when underground horse races at Carril El Gringo are scheduled to take place. PETA’s 10-month video investigation into similar unregulated match races in Georgia—which The Washington Post broke just days ago—revealed widespread doping with street drugs, the use of electric shock devices, fatal horse injuries, betting, and more, all in apparent violation of law. PETA rushed a letter to Shelby County Sheriff Floyd Bonner Jr. today, calling on him to investigate the black market track.

Some characters exposed in PETA’s investigation have indicated on social media that they will be at Carril El Gringo on Sunday, including the Quarter Horse stable Cuadra Rancho El Diamante. This stable’s horse El Borrego died of a “heart attack” in a race PETA filmed in Georgia, and at least two more of its horses died at the track in 2020 and 2021. Another stable, Cuadra Buena Vista, whose worker is shown in a Facebook video (beginning at 1:29) with a red liquid-filled syringe, is also planning to attend.

“Black market horse racing is a cesspool of greed, drugs, and abuse and an indictment of the area it gets away with operating in,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Officials must not look the other way when they’re charged with upholding the law, including the law against cruelty to animals.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Bonner follows.

August 10, 2022

The Honorable Floyd Bonner Jr.

Shelby County Sheriff

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office

Dear Sheriff Bonner:

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals U.S.—PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally—to request that you investigate an apparent championship underground horse race that is scheduled to take place at Carril El Gringo, also known as Carril De Memphis (3370 Benjestown Rd., Memphis, TN 38127), on August 14.

PETA just released the results of a 10-month investigation into underground Quarter Horse racing, exposing widespread doping with substances including methamphetamine, cocaine, and Ritalin; the use of electric shock devices; fatal horse injuries; jockey injuries and death; and hundreds of thousands of dollars in apparently illegal gambling at Rancho El Centenario, the largest black market track, or “bush track,” in Georgia. PETA has now filed complaints with state and local authorities calling for criminal investigations into these and other acts that appear to violate numerous laws. Our video footage available here and photographs available here could indicate what may occur at 3370 Benjestown Rd.

There are connections between the unsanctioned races in Georgia and the races planned in Memphis. The Quarter Horse stable Cuadra Rancho El Diamante has scheduled a race at Carril El Gringo on Sunday. This stable’s horse El Borrego died of an alleged heart attack in a race that PETA filmed at Rancho El Centenario, and at least two of its horses died at the track in 2020 and 2021. Another stable, Cuadra Buena Vista, is also anticipated to be in attendance on Sunday. A Facebook video from Rancho El Canelo in Dalton, Georgia, the other track that PETA investigated, shows a worker from this stable with a syringe filled with a red liquid. You can watch the video here at 1:29.

We urge you to investigate and take all appropriate action to prevent violations of Tennessee’s anti-cruelty, gambling, and drug laws.

Thank you for your time and consideration. May I please hear from you?

Sincerely,

Kathy Guillermo

Senior Vice President

Equine Matters Department




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One of Joe Namath’s Furs Is Up for Auction—and PETA Wants It

For Immediate Release:
August 10, 2022

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

New York – After learning that Joe Namath is auctioning off a 1970s mink coat, PETA sent the former quarterback a letter this morning suggesting that he instead give the coat to PETA’s fur donation program—which sends furs to people in need at refugee camps and homeless shelters as well as to wildlife rehabilitation centers to be used as bedding for orphaned animals—as Anjelica Huston, Mariah Carey, Kim Cattrall, and other compassionate celebrities have done.

“While nothing can bring back the minks who were killed for Joe Namath’s coat, it could still give some much-needed warmth to those in desperate need,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “PETA is encouraging the NFL legend to score a touchdown for kindness by donating these minks’ remains instead of trying to squeeze a few more dollars out of them.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. The group previously blasted Namath in 2014 after he wore a “caveperson” coyote fur coat to perform the Super Bowl coin toss, calling it an “eyesore.” For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Namath follows.

Dear Joe,

We saw that you’re auctioning off some of your possessions, including one of your infamous fur coats, but if you instead turned it over to PETA, you’d gain some new fans and allow us to help those most in need.

We’ve donated coats to displaced refugees in Afghanistan and Syria, where they offer warmth and comfort to those with the only excuse to wear fur, and to homeless shelters in the U.S., including in New York, not far from where you played with the Jets.

There’s nothing we can do to bring back the animals who were beaten, electrocuted, gassed, and even skinned alive for their fur—so would you consider adding your coat to our donation program? You’d score extra points with this handoff.

Sincerely,

Matt Kilbourne

PETA


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Dogs Tormented, Killed in Ohio Labs; PETA Exhibit Shows Cruel History of Animal Experiments

For Immediate Release:
August 8, 2022

Contact:
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

Cincinnati – To alert locals to the fact that Ohio is the eighth-largest user of dogs for experiments in the U.S., PETA is bringing its free, eye-opening exhibit “Without Consent” to the city this week. The presentation of this provocative display follows the news that 4,000 beagles bred for experiments—including dogs who may have ended up in Ohio laboratories—are being removed from the now-shuttered national supplier Envigo, thanks to a PETA undercover investigation.

When:      Wednesday, August 10, through Sunday, August 14, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Where:    The intersection of Sixth and Vine streets

Without Consent”—on display for just five days—explores the troubled history of experiments on nonconsenting animals through 24 panels bearing descriptions and photographs of nearly 200 tests conducted at U.S. institutions in recent decades, including in Ohio laboratories and at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which funded horrific experiments on dogs and other animals under director Anthony Fauci.

In 2019, Ohio laboratories kept and used 2,182 dogs for experiments. Even though high-tech research methods are available, including organs-on-chips and high-speed computers programmed with human data, dogs are force-fed drugs and used in a variety of sometimes extremely painful and even bizarre experiments. Most of them are killed. For example, experimenters at the University of Cincinnati recently purchased “mongrel dogs” from a vendor, killed them on arrival at the school, and cut out their hearts.

Other animals have suffered, too. At Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, experimenters kept pregnant rats in barren cages, took their pups away, and shocked the infants’ feet in freezing test chambers—in addition to pumping retinoic acid into the stomach of pregnant rats through a tube forced up their noses or down their throats. Experimenters at the University of Cincinnati even implanted devices into rats’ backs so they could pump themselves full of cocaine.

“‘Without Consent’ tells the true stories of dogs and other animals who were harmed and killed in experiments that they did not and could not consent to,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “Humans are only one animal species among many, and having the power to exploit the others does not give us the right to do so.”

PETA is calling on the National Institutes of Health—which gave Ohio laboratories over $916 million in taxpayer funds in 2021—to phase out animal experiments and adopt the group’s Research Modernization Deal.

An interactive virtual exhibit is available here. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.




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PETA Wants Cruelty-to-Animals Charges for Accused Springville Fire Starter

For Immediate Release:
August 9, 2022

Contact:
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Springville, Utah – This morning, PETA sent a letter to Utah County Attorney David Leavitt, asking that he add cruelty-to-animals charges to those that investigators have proposed against Cory Allan Martin for allegedly igniting the Springville fire, which has ravaged 60 acres and undoubtedly caused animals to burn to death—including the spider Martin was reportedly attempting to burn with a lighter.

The group writes in its letter that causing animals to suffer and die painfully, as was likely the case in this fire, needs to be recognized as a violation of Utah’s animal protection laws, even though spiders are not covered under the state’s anti-cruelty statute. The letter notes that a “vast number of other species, from mule deer to yellow-bellied marmots” resided in and around the area burned and that prosecutors in California and Oregon added cruelty-to-animals charges in similar wildfire cases, resulting in convictions on those charges.

“Beginning with this spider, an untold number of terrified animals likely burned and died in agony,” says PETA Vice President Daniel Paden. “These victims deserve acknowledgment, and PETA is asking that as additional victims are identified, the person responsible face charges for causing so much suffering.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to Leavitt follows.

August 9, 2022

The Honorable David O. Leavitt
Utah County Attorney

Dear Mr. Leavitt:

I hope this letter finds you well. I’m writing to request that your office add cruelty-to-animals charges, as appropriate, to the reckless burning and related charges that investigators have proposed against Cory Allan Martin in connection with the Springville fire.

Although no humans lost their lives, the many wild animals who resided on the approximately 60 acres of land destroyed in the fire were undoubtedly less fortunate—including the spider whom Martin reportedly told police he was attempting to burn with a lighter when the surrounding brush ignited. Such catastrophic fires inflict terror and suffering on countless animals and cause them to endure prolonged, agonizing deaths.

Utah Code § 76-9-301 states that a person who “recklessly, or with criminal negligence … injures an animal” is guilty of cruelty to an animal and that a person who “kills an animal or causes an animal to be killed without having a legal privilege to do so” is guilty of aggravated cruelty to an animal. Although as an invertebrate, the spider Martin allegedly tried to burn to death wasn’t protected by Utah’s anti-cruelty statute, the mountains around Springville are home to a vast number of other species, from mule deer to yellow-bellied marmots, who are protected.

Given that Martin is accused of recklessly causing a fast-burning wildfire that surely led to serious injuries and death for an untold number of animals—and that such conduct does not qualify as lawful hunting, fishing, or trapping practices that exempt wild animals from protection against cruelty—I respectfully ask that investigators and your office add cruelty-to-animals charges to those the defendant already faces, as prosecutors in California and Oregon did in similar cases—both of which resulted in convictions on those charges.

Thank you for your consideration and for the difficult work you do.

Sincerely,

Sarah Deffinger

Senior Evidence Analyst

Cruelty Investigations Department




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PETA to San Antonio City Council: Pull Texas Biomed Funding in Wake of Research Misconduct

For Immediate Release:
August 9, 2022

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

San Antonio – In light of a new government report exposing “research misconduct” by Deepak Kaushal, director of the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) at Texas Biomedical Research Institute (Texas Biomed), PETA rushed a letter today to city officials urging them to revoke the $10 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that was approved for the facility in February.

The investigation by the U.S. Office of Research Integrity found Kaushal guilty of “intentionally, knowingly, and/or recklessly falsifying and fabricating” data from a monkey study in published work and on grant applications. The study in question involved infecting monkeys with tuberculosis, treating them with a combination of drugs, and then infecting them with SIV, a primate virus that has failed to be a surrogate model for HIV infection and that leads to severe and painful symptoms. At the experiment’s end, the monkeys were killed.

Even though local residents spoke out overwhelmingly against directing any of the ARPA funding—federal money meant to help the city during the COVID-19 crisis—to the SNPRC, the council was persuaded by Kaushal and others at the center to award it the no-strings-attached funding.

“I urge [the city] to retract all ARPA funds currently slated for Texas Biomed/SNPRC and instead direct those funds to other projects that will benefit the people of San Antonio rather than to this facility, which is currently headed by an individual who has demonstrated no respect for scientific integrity, animal welfare, transparency, or accountability,” primate scientist and PETA Senior Science Advisor Dr. Lisa Jones-Engel writes in the letter to the city.

Research misconduct isn’t the only problem at the SNPRC. In the last decade, the U.S. Department of Agriculture fined Texas Biomed nearly $26,000 for repeatedly allowing primates to escape from cages and injure themselves and others, including humans. Last year, 159 baboons suffered from painful frostbite so severe that their fingers, toes, or tails had to be amputated because the SNPRC failed to protect them during a winter storm. Primates kept there have also been strangled by door cables and burned by exposed pipes. Despite all this, Texas Biomed has received more than $63 million in taxpayer funds from the National Institutes of Health since 2020.

For more information on PETA’s newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.


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Violinists at State Capitol: ‘Stop Fiddling While the World Burns’

PETA Will Deliver a Musical Message to Urge Gov. Little to Take Vegan Climate Action

For Immediate Release:
August 9, 2022

Contact:
Robin Goist 202-483-7382

Boise, Idaho – As the climate catastrophe fuels Idaho’s wildfires, a trio of fiddlers will play “Fire on the Mountain” and other tunes on the steps of the state Capitol on Thursday, seeking to strike the right note in an appeal to Gov. Brad Little to reduce animal agriculture’s massive role in the crisis—a point on which his administration has failed to take action. The violinists will be accompanied by an ensemble of PETA supporters and a sign that reads, “Gov. Little: Stop Fiddling While the World Burns! Go Vegan!”

When:     Thursday, August 11, 12 noon

Where:    Idaho State Capitol, 700 W. Jefferson St., Boise

PETA points out that the Moose and Woodtick fires continue to sweep across the state and that the climate catastrophe has made a more intense fire season the new norm. According to the United Nations, a global shift to vegan eating is required to combat the worst effects of climate change, as animal agriculture alone is responsible for nearly one-fifth of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. Clearing land to raise animals and grow crops to feed them is a leading cause of deforestation, and the massive amount of water used in animal agriculture contributes to the dry conditions that allow wildfires to spread.

“Idaho is on fire, and animal agriculture is the tinder that makes it burn, so we’re making Gov. Little face the music,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is pushing the governor to change his tune now and promote planet-friendly vegan meals, before we all go up in smoke.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.

For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.




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Golden Retriever Suffered for 11 Years, Died Alone in Texas A&M Lab; PETA Files Federal Complaint

Group to Hold Memorial at Regents Meeting and Call For Release of 9 Healthy Dogs

For Immediate Release:
August 8, 2022

Contact:
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382

College Station, Texas – This Wednesday, PETA supporters will crash Texas A&M University’s Board of Regents meeting and place a “dead dog” on the floor next to a pool of “vomit” to commemorate the death of a golden retriever named Pee Wee. He was bred to develop canine muscular dystrophy (MD) and suffered for years in the school’s notorious—now nearly defunct—MD laboratory before he died. The dog defenders will call for the release of nine surviving healthy dogs who were transferred from the MD lab to the university’s veterinary school instead of being put up for adoption as the university had pledged to do.

When:     Wednesday, August 10, 1 p.m.

Where:    Memorial Student Center, 275 Joe Routt Blvd., at the intersection with Wellborn Road, College Station

According to records obtained by PETA, Pee Wee could barely stand or walk at the time of his death and had lost so much muscle in his jaw area that he could barely eat. He had to be helped up and could stand for only one minute. But Texas A&M staff failed to end his suffering from the fatal disease—likely in violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act. On the morning of March 26, Pee Wee was found dead in his kennel.

PETA has repeatedly reported Texas A&M’s abuse of dogs to the U.S. Department of Agriculture—which didn’t inspect the MD laboratory during most of the COVID-19 shutdown—and today filed a complaint about the staff’s failure to euthanize Pee Wee.

“The feds should slam Texas A&M for its apparent failure to care for Pee Wee, who died alone after years of torment,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “Texas A&M failed him, but it can release the nine healthy dogs and must do so immediately.”

PETA released video footage from inside the MD laboratory that revealed grim conditions for the dogs, who were caged in barren metal cells. In 2019—under pressure from PETA supporters, physicians, and people with MD—Texas A&M halted breeding dogs to develop the disease. More than 50 have already been released for adoption.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.




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VICTORY! EGYPTAIR Ends Transport of Monkeys to Laboratories After International PETA Campaign

For Immediate Release:
August 8, 2022

Contact:
Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Cairo – EGYPTAIR has informed PETA U.S. that it is no longer in the business of transporting monkeys from Africa and Asia to laboratories in the U.S. and elsewhere. This follows a three-month intense campaign by PETA entities around the world, which included protests in the U.S.—at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York and Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C.—and at airports in Frankfurt, London, Manila, and Paris; e-mails from more than 100,000 supporters of PETA entities; hundreds of phone calls; and online advertisements. PETA Asia also sent T-shirts and coffee mugs—emblazoned with artwork calling on the airline to stop cruel monkey shipments—to EGYPTAIR’s executives and sent an open letter to its CEO to company employees. Other organizations, including Action for Primates in the U.K., Stop Camarles in Spain, and One Voice in France, also campaigned to end the shipments.

Airline industry insiders first alerted PETA to a shipment of 720 macaques flown by EGYPTAIR from Cambodia to JFK on April 30. Records show the airline has flown 5,000 monkeys into the U.S. since March.

“EGYPTAIR’s decision will prevent thousands of monkeys from being ripped from their families, shoved into tiny boxes, and shipped around the globe to endure misery and death in laboratories,” says PETA Vice President Dr. Alka Chandna. “Any other airline considering getting into this trade should think again—PETA is watching.”

In January, Kenya Airways announced it was ending its transport of monkeys to laboratories just 24 hours after discussions with PETA, and in June, Air France banned the practice after a decade-long campaign by PETA.

The macaque wildlife trade is steeped in violence and disease. A vast monkey-abduction pipeline has been funneling hundreds of thousands of wild-caught monkeys into the U.S. One species of monkey transported by EGYPTAIR was the long-tailed macaque. Last month, the International Union for Conservation of Nature upgraded the conservation status of long-tailed and pig-tailed macaques from “vulnerable” to “endangered.” The exploitation of these once-plentiful species as part of the international wildlife trade involving experimenters in the U.S. is a major factor in their dramatic population crash.

PETA notes that the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) admit that 95% of all new drugs that test safe and effective in animals are either unsafe or ineffective in humans. PETA scientists’ Research Modernization Deal provides a strategy for replacing animals with modern, human-relevant research methods. PETA supports the FDA Modernization Act, which would eliminate the agency’s mandate to require tests on animals in drug testing.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.


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52 Years of Confinement: Activists to Make a Splash Pushing for Lolita’s Release

For Immediate Release:
August 4, 2022

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Miami – Monday is a solemn day that marks 52 years since Lolita was abducted from her family and ocean home and dumped into the world’s smallest orca tank at the Miami Seaquarium, so members of PETA—including one dressed as an orca and confined to a wading pool that mimics the pathetic existence Lolita endures—will protest outside the Seaquarium on Saturday to push for her release to a seaside sanctuary. Earlier this year, a whistleblower leaked the fact that Lolita was deathly sick, and now PETA points out that she will likely not survive another illness as she languishes in that abysmally small tank.

When:      Saturday, August 6, 12 noon

Where:    Miami Seaquarium, 4400 Rickenbacker Cswy., Key Biscayne

“Lolita can’t last much longer in the world’s smallest orca tank, where her life is reduced to that of a bathtub toy,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is demanding that the Miami Seaquarium stop Lolita’s suffering in this life of privation and send her to a sanctuary where she could feel the ocean currents and express natural behavior again, before it’s too late.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.

For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.





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Drive-By Plea for Crustaceans Will Target Charlestown Seafood Festival

For Immediate Release:
August 4, 2022

Contact:
Robin Goist 202-483-7382

Charlestown, R.I. – A mobile message from PETA will dish up some food for thought at the Charlestown Seafood Festival on Saturday: “If you wouldn’t eat your dog, why eat a lobster?” The on-the-go billboard will encircle the festival all day to urge everyone to think of the individual behind each lobster roll and opt for vegan fare instead.

“When it comes to feeling pain and fear, a lobster is no different from a dog, a cat, or a human,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA’s mobile message encourages people to enjoy a delicious vegan meal that leaves sea life in peace.”

Lobsters are intelligent individuals who explore their surroundings, can remember other individual lobsters, and use complex signals to establish social relationships. If left alone, they can live to be more than 100 years old. A PETA investigation into a crustacean slaughterhouse revealed that live lobsters were impaled, torn apart, and decapitated—even as their legs continued to move. Chefs typically place lobsters into pots of boiling water while they’re still conscious—a practice so cruel that it was banned in Switzerland.

Each person who goes vegan saves the lives of nearly 200 animals a year; dramatically shrinks their carbon footprint; reduces their risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes; and helps prevent future pandemics. SARS, swine flu, bird flu, and COVID-19 all stemmed from confining or killing animals for food.

PETA’s mobile billboard will circle the festival from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.




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