HSUS and HSLF Statement on the Introduction of Sen. McConnell’s Horse Racing Bill

A few days after the 146th running of the Kentucky Derby, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R- Ky., introduced a bill to reform horse racing, with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 will focus on two key factors that have led to a number of racetrack deaths in recent years: the doping of racehorses and racetrack safety.

Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to approve the bill, which was an amendment in the form of a substitute for the previous bill offered by Rep. Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., with bipartisan support from Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky. This amendment will change that bill’s language to mirror the bill introduced by Majority Leader McConnell, and it has the support of some of the industry’s biggest stakeholders.

“There hasn’t been a better time, or opportunity, to reform horse racing. The sport has been plagued by high-profile scandals, including a wave of horse deaths and indictments earlier this year of trainers and veterinarians in a doping scandal,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. “These incidents have finally focused the spotlight on problems that have long flooded racing, drawing criticism and calls for change from within the industry.”

“Horses hold iconic status for Americans so if we’re going to race them, it’s imperative they don’t leave everything on the track,” said Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “That’s why we support the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act sponsored by Reps. Paul Tonko and Andy Barr to end doping and provide a safer environment for horses. Today, Chairman Pallone successfully marked up the bill which was approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. We urge the House to expeditiously pass this critical federal legislation to protect horses.”

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 has a strong chance of success in Congress, coming as it does from Majority Leader McConnell, a Republican from a state with deep economic stakes in racing. This is an issue HSUS and HSLF have been invested in for many years now, and their staff have long championed federal legislation in Congress to reform horseracing.

You can read more about this development here.

Contact: Emily Ehrhorn
Senior Specialist, Media Relations
eehrhorn@humanesociety.org
P 301-258-1423; C 202-779-1814
humanesociety.org

AHP has not verified the factual statements in any message and AHP assumes no responsibility for the contents of, or any damage resulting from, any communication in the Newsgroup. Publication in the Newsgroup is not an endorsement by the organization of any product, person, or policy.