There is no provision in statewide Question 1, the referendum to allow a casino in York County, to fund retirement homes for harness racing horses at the end of their careers. Horses can live up to 30 years, but most harness racing horses stop making money for their owners around age 10 because of injuries, arthritis, lameness and chronic pain incurred during years of racing.

Horses used in harness and thoroughbred racing often wind up on the auction block, where they are sold to pull carriages in Amish villages or to be served as a delicacy in restaurants abroad. These animals are loaded onto trucks, where they begin a terrifying journey of 30 hours or more without food or water to slaughterhouses in Canada or Mexico.

Harness racing is a dying industry that is kept alive by taxpayer-directed subsidies from the proceeds of slot machines and casinos. Vote “no” on Question 1 until provisions are made for the retirement of harness racing horses.

Val Philbrick

Scarborough