More than 200 thoroughbreds have been abandoned and left to die following the closure of Karachi racecourse in Pakistan.
The Associated Press reports that more than 50 horses have died sinceMarch, when the racecourse was shut following a dispute between the Jockey Club of Pakistan, which owns the course, and the government over a $30,000 license fee.
The majority of the 600 horses which were stabled at the course have been moved to other stables, or are being care for by their trainers, but around 140 have been abandoned by their owners, with no-one to feed or care for them.
The ILPH (International League for the Protection of Horses) and Brooke Hospital for Animals are making preparations to travel to Karachi racecourse to alleviate the suffering of the abandoned horses. ILPH will be providing £5,000 for feed and veterinary care and the Brooke Hospital will be providing the manpower.
Ian Kelly, International Manager at the ILPH says: “We only heard about the appalling suffering of the racehorses at Karachi racecourse late Tuesday (3 July) night. We contacted Brooke Hospital who have a large programme in Pakistan, with the result that a joint mercy mission will be going to the racecourse early next week.”
Brooke Hospital’s recently retired Chief Veterinary Officer, Colonel Anwar ul-Haq has visited the course to assess the situation, and will be buying forage and ensuring a water supply for the throughbreds which have been abandoned onto non-existent pasture.
“With the electricty disconnected, the horses which are stabled have no air-conditioning in temperatures which exceed 35 degrees Celsius,” explained Brooke Hospital spokesperson, Megan Jackson.
“The horses which have been turned out are fairing no better as water is very scarce and there is practically no grass. Some of the best-bred horses in Pakistan have gone from a life of luxury to receiving no care at all.
“A combination of malnourishment and dehydration is a death sentence. Although our representatives will be providing water and feed for the horses, there may be some animals that are simply too far gone to help.”