Target: Alexander M. Waldrop, President and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association
Goal: Ban the use of the harmful performance-enhancing drug Lasix on race horses
Furosemide (commonly known by its name-brand Lasix) is a diuretic used on most racing horses in the United States to prevent bleeding in the lungs caused by intense exercise. This is not a serious condition and the treatment is primarily used to increase performance. Like all medications, Lasix has certain negative side effects. It slows the absorption of calcium and other minerals which inhibits bone growth in horses, especially younger horses. Since horses usually start racing at age two, most of these poor animals are forced to live their already hard lives with weak, underdeveloped bones. The constant forced running is a large cause of this growth impediment and Lasix only furthers the problem.
The benefit of Lasix comes only to the trainers and owners in the form of increased race performance and is nothing but a detriment to the horses. So as you can imagine, many people in the horse racing industry oppose a Lasix ban. They claim the drug is necessary to reduce bleeding, completely skirting the fact that it is actually used to increase performance. Yes, the drug is effective in reducing bleeding, but the negatives far outweigh the positives.
In most other parts of the world, Lasix is banned in horse racing due to the negative effect on the animals. The Breeder’s Cup was recently run with a ban on Lasix in place. It is quite possible for the drug to be completely banned in horse racing. This is a simple matter of humans using medication to further exploit these already exploited animals. As long as horse racing will continue, humans need to at least stop pumping these animals full of drugs that harm them. The use of Lasix needs to be banned in horse racing in the United States and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association needs to lead the charge.
Dear Mr. Waldrop,
The issue of Lasix in horse racing is one I’m sure you are very familiar with and probably tired of hearing about. But the fact is that this drug is not necessary to the sport. For the proponents of the drug to claim that it is used for the health benefit of the animals is ludicrous. It is only administered to increase performance while it interferes with bone growth, which can have an extremely tragic outcome for the horse.
If your organization supported the ban on Lasix, along with many international racing associations and the Breeder’s Cup, racing could still continue and the quality of life of race horses could be improved. The animals are overlooked by society simply because they are not human. But they are living creatures that feel pain and emotion; also, they are the very core of your business. I ask you to help these animals that have made your livelihood possible by endorsing a ban on Lasix.
[Your Name Here]