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Stop the Carnage in Georgia's Shadowy Bush Track Races

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30.83% Complete

Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

Bush track racing gambles with horse lives, and a failed federal promise has left them in peril—demand protection for horses now.


In the shadows of Georgia's picturesque landscapes, a sinister industry thrives. Unregulated "bush track" horse racing, most notoriously at Rancho El Centenario, has turned into a deadly game, where the lives of horses and humans are at stake. This clandestine world, devoid of oversight, breeds not only gambling and greed but unspeakable cruelty towards the noble creatures that partake in what should be a sport of honor and grace.

Harsh Reality Behind the Races

At the heart of this issue lies a distressing trend: the use of dangerous drugs, electroshock devices, and excessive whipping to push horses beyond their limits1. These animals, bred for their beauty and speed, face life-threatening injuries, with many meeting a tragic end on the very tracks they race.

The plight of these majestic animals and the risks faced by jockeys should have prompted decisive action. A federal raid, involving major agencies such as the FBI and USDA, was planned but inexplicably called off, allowing the races to continue unabated2. The reasons behind this withdrawal remain shrouded in mystery, raising serious questions about the commitment to animal welfare and legal enforcement.

Human and Animal Toll

The toll of this negligence is not only measured in the loss of equine lives but in human tragedy as well. The fatal accident of jockey Roman Chapa at Rancho El Centenario is a stark reminder of the life-and-death stakes involved3. It's a wake-up call that we can no longer afford to ignore.

This is not just a local issue; it's a glaring reflection of the broader challenges in enforcing animal welfare laws and the need for stringent oversight in equine sports. The thriving bush track racing industry in Georgia has laid bare the limitations of our current legal and regulatory frameworks to protect those who cannot speak for themselves.

Your Voice Matters

The time to act is now. We cannot stand by while these majestic animals are subjected to cruelty and neglect. We cannot turn a blind eye to the dangers faced by jockeys, lured into a perilous environment where their safety is compromised.

We call upon you, the concerned citizens, animal lovers, and advocates for justice, to join us in demanding a thorough investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) into the reasons behind the withdrawal of federal agencies from the crucial raid at Rancho El Centenario. It's time to hold those responsible accountable and ensure that the laws meant to protect animals and humans alike are enforced with unwavering commitment.

By signing our petition, you're not just lending your voice to a cause; you're helping to pave the way for a future where horse racing is synonymous with dignity, respect, and safety for all involved. Let's stand together to ensure a brighter future for horses and humans alike.

Take a Stand

Your signature is more than just a name; it's a beacon of hope for those who suffer in silence. Sign the petition today and be a part of the movement that demands justice and safety for horses and humans in the world of horse racing. Together, we can end the cycle of cruelty and ensure a legacy of compassion and respect.

More on this issue:

  1. Gus Garcia-Roberts, The Washington Post (15 February 2024), "The feds’ raid on a ‘bush track’ fizzled, so horses kept racing — and dying."
  2. Peta Investigates (4 April 2023), "The Deadly World of Underground Horse Races."
  3. Gus Garcia-Roberts, The Washington Post (6 August 2022), "A horse track with no rules."
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The Petition:

To the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO),

We, the undersigned, urgently call upon the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to initiate a comprehensive investigation into the concerning withdrawal of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from an essential investigation into Rancho El Centenario and the broader bush track racing industry in Georgia.

Despite accumulating evidence of criminal activities, including severe animal cruelty, drug abuse, illegal gambling, and violence, these federal entities inexplicably retracted their involvement, leaving a void in accountability and justice. Such a retreat not only emboldens perpetrators but also severely undermines the efforts to uphold law and order and protect the welfare of innocent animals involved in these clandestine operations.

The lack of transparency and apparent discontinuation of the investigation raise significant concerns about the effectiveness, priorities, and inter-agency collaboration among these federal bodies. It is imperative that the GAO thoroughly examines the reasons behind this decision, including any potential obstacles, jurisdictional conflicts, or resource limitations that may have contributed to this outcome.

Furthermore, this investigation by the GAO is crucial in ensuring that future enforcement and oversight mechanisms are robust, effective, and resilient against similar challenges. By understanding the shortcomings and gaps in the current system, we can advocate for necessary reforms and strategies that prioritize the welfare of animals and uphold the integrity of the law.

This inquiry by the GAO is not only about bringing to light the failures in this particular case but also about setting a precedent for accountability and diligence in protecting those who cannot speak for themselves. We believe that with the GAO's intervention, we can pave the way for a safer, more just, and compassionate future for both horses and humans alike.

Let us stand together in calling for action, transparency, and justice.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: