Isn’t there a law against harming horses this way?
Yes, but not for the horses of the Suicide Race. Washington law prohibits the “injury or death of animals for amusement or gain” and the RCW16.52.205 description of animal cruelty is (1) A person is guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree when, except as authorized in law, he or she intentionally
- (a) inflicts substantial pain on,
- (b) causes physical injury to, or
- (c) kills an animal by a means causing undue suffering, or forces a minor to inflict unnecessary pain, injury, or death on an animal.
Unfortunately, another law, RCW 16.52.185 has been used to exempt the horses who run in the Suicide Race under the clause of “normal and usual course of rodeo events.” Oddly, though, there is no other rodeo in Washington State or in the U.S. as a whole that features an event similar to the Omak Suicide Race and the Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association has stated that they don’t even consider this kind of event as part of rodeos it sanctions.
What do you think about this?