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Home / Santa Anita Racetrack

House Passes Horseracing Reform Bill

File photo by Terry Miller / Beacon Media News

Tuesday, theHouse of Representatives voted unanimously to pass H.R. 1754, the HorseracingIntegrity Act. The bill would establish the Horseracing Integrity and SafetyAuthority under the U.S. Ant-Doping Agency with oversight from the FederalTrade Commission to implement, publish, and maintain rules regardingsubstances, methods, and treatments that are permitted to be administered tothoroughbred horses. It would also establish uniform sanctions for violations,establish racetrack safety standards, and allow other breeds to elect to beregulated by the authority. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), whose Congressional Districtincludes Santa Anita Racetrack where 37 horses died last year, had urged theEnergy and Commerce Committee to bring this bill to the floor and issued thefollowing statement:

“Horse racingis a beloved activity by many in my area and across the country, and inaddition to providing 1,500 jobs, Santa Anita racetrack is a center of activityfor many families. That is why it was so alarming when, in 2019, it becameclear that conditions at the track and the lack of strong regulations werecontributing to a disproportionately high number of horse deaths.  Thisthreatened not only the lives of horses, who were needlessly put at risk, butalso the future of horseracing. That is why, after speaking with trainers,owners, and other horseracing professionals, I immediately called for amoratorium on racing while we assessed how to best protect horses, and Ibelieve this bill – which is supported by the Jockey Club, the Breeders’ Cup,and Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association – will help us to do that bycreating a single federal standard for how race horses should be treated. InCalifornia, the deaths at Santa Anita spurred action by the State legislature, Governor,and California Horse Racing Board to implement stringent new safety standardsto protect horses and jockeys. I commended the State for these important steps,but conditions must be improved nationwide, not just in California. The numbersof horses killed while racing in America are out of line with the much lowerrate of horse deaths internationally. That is why I welcome this new federalstandard to help ensure all horses are protected, no matter where they race. Weshould not accept dead horses as just a normal cost of this sport. I’m proudthat the House acted so decisively today to pass this bill.”

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