The HSUS Endorses Tennessee Horse Racing Legislation

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) today, announced its support for the reinstatement of the Tennessee Horse Racing Commission by endorsing Senate Bill 1908, introduced by State Senator Frank Nicely (R-Strawberry Plains), and its companion bill, House Bill 2109, introduced by Representative Rick Tillis (R-Lewisburg).

Joe De Francis, Chairman of The HSUS National Horse Racing Advisory Council and former CEO and controlling shareholder of the Maryland Jockey Club, the parent company of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the middle jewel of the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, said: "Having spent a lifetime in the horse racing business, I applaud and thank Senator Nicely and Representative Tillis for their efforts on behalf of this important and ground-breaking legislation. I urge the Legislature to pass this bill, and the Governor to sign it into law, at the earliest possible date."

Eric Swafford, Tennessee State Director at The HSUS said: “Our state has been known for equine abuse for far too long, and we can begin to clean it up by working together with legislators who support true reforms – we applaud Senator Nicely and Representative Tillis for their work. This legislation contains key provisions to prevent medication abuse; thereby ensuring competition will be fair for all participants, including most importantly the equine athletes that are the foundation of the sport. We look forward to working further with the sponsors to refine these standards, and important pieces of legislation to garner even more support from within the racing industry.”

The legislation would allow for regulation of horse racing and enable legislation for horse racing with pari-mutuel wagering. The humane standards contained within the legislation will benefit the horses, owners, jockeys, and the integrity of the sport.

A key facet of this bill is the ban on race day medication. No medications, including, but not limited to, furosemide, commonly sold under the brand names Lasix and Salix, may be given to a horse in the 24-hour period prior to its scheduled start.

The Humane Society of the United States is the most effective animal protection organization, as rated by our peers. For more than 60 years, we have celebrated the protection of all animals and confronted all forms of cruelty. We and our affiliates are the nation’s largest provider of hands-on services for animals, caring for more than 150,000 animals each year, and we prevent cruelty to millions more through our advocacy campaigns. Read about our more than 60 years of transformational change for animals and people.

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