Los Alamitos put on probation following spate of horse deaths

(Reuters) - Southern California’s Los Alamitos race track has been given 10 days to develop a plan of action following a number of recent horse deaths but racing can continue for now, the California Horse Racing Board said on Friday.

Nineteen horses have died at the track near Los Angeles since the beginning of the year, up from nine over the same time period a year ago.

The Board held an emergency meeting on Friday and voted 5-1 to allow racing to continue but said the track had 10 days to come up with a plan to reduce the spike in equine fatalities.

The race track had no comment when contacted by Reuters on Friday.

Animal rights group PETA called on the board to require the track to install CT scan equipment to detect injuries, ban medications in the two weeks leading up to a race, and prohibit whipping, among other reforms.

“Without these crucial changes, anything else is simply a temporary fix,” said Kathy Guillermo, the group’s senior vice president.

Horse racing has come under scrutiny following the deaths of dozens of racehorses at California’s famed Santa Anita Park last year, which grabbed headlines and prompted government investigations.

Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Toby Davis