L.A. DA to investigate horse deaths at Santa Anita racetrack

/ CBS News

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office has assigned a team to investigate the recent increase of horse deaths at the Santa Anita Park racetrack, CBS Los Angeles reports.

The L.A. County district attorney's office released a statement Friday confirming the investigation has begun.

"At this time, the District Attorney's Office has assigned investigators to work with the California Horse Racing Board," district attorney's office spokesman Greg Risling said in a statement.

On March 1, PETA requested that the DA's office launch an investigation into the recent rise in horse injuries and deaths at the racetrack.

A starting gate stands at Santa Anita Park on March 06, 2019 in Arcadia, California. Santa Anita has suspended horse racing after 21 horses died at the famed racetrack beginning on December 26. Mario Tama / Getty Images

They asked that the DA's office specifically investigate methods used by the track's trainers and veterinarians.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the DA's office has been in contact with Pasadena Humane Society, who has contacted the Arcadia Police Department.

The track has suspended live racing since March 6, while experts work to determine what could be contributing to the problem.

The main and training tracks have been open for horse workouts and are only allowing horses to jog or gallop.

First published on March 16, 2019 / 12:16 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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