HSUS and HSLF Statement on the Announcement of Sen. Mcconnell’s Horseracing Bill

Days before the Kentucky Derby kicks off in his home state this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced he will introduce a bill to reform horse racing. The bill announced today would focus on two key factors that have led to a number of racetrack deaths in recent years: the reckless doping of racehorses and race track safety.

Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, and Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, stated:

“This is a promising development for the future of race horses in a sport that has increasingly come under a cloud because of the reckless doping of horses and a spate of horse deaths, drawing criticism not just from outside watchers but from trainers and other stakeholders within the industry.”

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 has a strong chance of success in Congress, coming as it does from Sen. McConnell, a Republican from a state with deep economic stakes in racing. The bill will also be endorsed by Churchill Downs Incorporated, the Louisville-based operator of the Kentucky Derby, and by The Jockey Club, the Breeders Cup and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

This is an issue we have been invested in for many years now, and our Humane Society Legislative Fund team has long championed federal legislation in Congress to reform horse racing. We look forward to working with Sen. McConnell and other cosponsors to strengthen their bill, and we’ve offered him our recommendations.

You can read more about this development in today’s joint blog post by Kitty and Sara.

Media Contact: Kirsten Peek: 202-744-3875; kpeek@humanesociety.org

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