BERKELEY (CBS SF) — The Berkeley-based animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere plans to hold a demonstration at noon Sunday in protest of horse deaths at Golden Gate Fields.

The demonstrators say they will hold “tombstones” representing the deaths of 26 horses who died at the track in 2021.

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The group is involved in a lawsuit with GGF in which the track claims that as the result of a March protest organized by the group the track was forced to cancel one race and postpone six others. Four activists were arrested, cited for trespassing and released, according to Albany police.

In November, five racehorses died at the track — three in just one week.

Statistics from the California Horse Racing Board show a total of 71 deaths at tracks statewide in 2021.

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“If there were 67 athletics who died during any other sport there would be outrage, why not for the deaths of these poor horses?” asked Staci Sanders to BCN in November. She tracks equine deaths at the Berkeley racetrack for the group Kill Races Not Horses.

Twenty-seven horses died at Golden Gate Fields in 2020. Attention to horse deaths grew after 23 horses died at Santa Anita Park in Southern California over three months in early 2019.

In October of 2020 the city of Berkeley wrote a letter to the state racing board to express concern over horsing deaths and saying more must be done to address the treatment and welfare of racehorses.

The California Horse Racing Board’s list of equine fatalities is available at

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