New Anti-Doping Program is Good News for Racehorses

Earlier this week, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority launched its Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program, ushering in a new era of safety and welfare for racehorses and increased accountability for those who work with them. This marks a critical turning point for thoroughbred racehorse safety, and it comes just in time for the upcoming Triple Crown racing season.

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act is a federal law that, for the first time, standardizes medication and safety protocols in horseracing across the country. The programs under this law help to implement much-needed change in the industry. The launch of the program follows last summer’s implementation of the Racetrack Safety Program and is the final set of regulations governing the sport under the new national program created by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act.

“Racehorses should never be subjected to the misuse of legal and illegal drugs, which can mask their injuries and lead to catastrophic breakdowns on the track. This is why the Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program is so important; it will enforce new strict national regulations that limit the use of medications in horseracing, as well as increase testing and toughen enforcement. Horses deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, not pumped full of dangerous drugs that can lead to painful injury or even cause their deaths,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.

The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund have been at the forefront of advocating for the protection of racehorses for many years and were the lead animal welfare organizations to push for passage of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. The implementation of the law and the anti-doping program are significant steps forward for the welfare of racehorses.

“We have long advocated that if horses are going to be raced, they must be protected from doping and inferior tracks,” said Sara Amundson, president of Humane Society Legislative Fund. “The implementation of all the elements of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act is a significant step forward for the welfare of racehorses, but there is still work to be done. With our partners in the HSUS National Horse Racing Advisory Council and the Jockey Club, we will continue to monitor the impact of these anti-doping regulations. It’s past time to put these magnificent animals first.”

While the law represents a major step forward for horse racing, it will only be effective if all racetracks follow the new standards. The HSUS and HSLF urge all stakeholders in the broader horse racing industry to work together to promote the well-being of every racehorse involved in the sport.

Founded in 1954, the Humane Society of the United States fights the big fights to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, we take on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries. With our affiliates, we rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals every year through our animal rescue team’s work and other hands-on animal care services. We fight all forms of animal cruelty to achieve the vision behind our name: A humane society. 

 Humane Society Legislative Fund works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues and support humane candidates for office. Formed in 2004, HSLF is incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code as a separate lobbying affiliate of the Humane Society of the United States. 

Media contact
Erica Heffner: 202-770-6575