Advocates act after influx of racehorse deaths

The number of racehorse deaths in recent months is staggering, and advocates are stepping up to establish better protective standards.

After hundreds of horses were euthanized on racetracks in 2019, an advocacy group against cruelty to animals has ramped up their efforts on Capitol Hill to push for a new bill to be passed. The legislation, commonly known as the Horseracing Integrity Act, would protect racehorses by establishing a national standard for medication use. At the time of this writing, the bill has 243 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives, and 25 cosponsors in the U.S. Senate including presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Only 218 votes are needed for it to pass the House.

Marty Irby from Animal Wellness Action (AWA) – a key supporter of the bill – testified in support of the legislation in January at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the legislation. According to Irby, a vote on the measure is expected in the U.S. House before the end of May. In the meantime, groups like AWA, The Breeders’ Cup, The Jockey Club and The Stronach Group will continue to lobby for change.


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