Avid sports fans will agree that drug abuse is a term often thrown around in relation to athletes. The term however, is not only restricted to humans. Racehorses are often subjected to drug abuse by their trainers as well, overlooking the fact that the drugs injected to alter their horse’s performance can drastically affect their animal’s health, leading to fatalities in some situations.
Studies have proven that as many as 24 racehorses succumb to death every week in America as a result of this. It is facts like this that make one wonder, is anyone going to do something about this drug abuse?
The Common Drugs and Their Effects
There are several kinds of drugs that are used to alter a horse’s performance. Some drugs can give a horse surplus energy, but only temporarily, and are known as stimulants. Others can regulate pulmonary bleeding, also known as EIPH, which is often a result of over-exertion in horses.
Let’s take a look at the effects that specific drugs have on a horse. One group of drugs, known as narcotic analgesics, are used for pain relief and can be quite harmful if taken in large doses. Another group, known as beta blockers, can change a horse’s pulse, thereby affecting its heart directly. Blue Magic, commonly known as propantheline bromide, causes the horse’s muscles to relax, in return causing the blood flow to hike up and affecting the horse’s heart.
It is very obvious that using such drugs to enhance your horse’s performance, without any regard for its health, is a completely inhumane act. If we don’t do something about this abuse, one day all of these unfortunate horses might die a very unfair and unpleasant death.
It is the Horse that Suffers
The first signs of the ill-effects of these drugs are shown by a horse’s exhibition of pain and fatigue. As a result, many horses are left unable to perform in races. Most of these are found either dead on the racetrack as a result of running in high-stress conditions or seriously injured to the point where they are sent to slaughterhouses.
Realization is the First Step
As humans, we need to realize that we have to do something about this drug abuse as it is our utmost obligation. Keeping this in view, legislation has recently been passed to form a single organization, which would not be dependent on any others, to start and impose uniform national anti-doping rules for thoroughbred racing on behalf of an alliance of horse-industry and animal welfare groups.
Efforts are also being made to bring back the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. This act propositions the assurance of creating significant anti-doping reforms throughout the entire interstate horseracing industry. This bill would designate the USADA as the independent anti-doping organization for interstate horseraces, making rules with regard to the usage of legitimate and banned substances, and introducing anti-doping education, research, testing, and adjudication programs.
All we can do in the meantime is try to improve our own selves, and try to stop others who may be subjecting their horses to drug abuse. It is always human beings themselves that have been the biggest threat to nature, and it is also us who must be the savior in the end.
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