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November 24, 2009

The HSUS Commends US Polo Association Plan to Implement Drug Testing

The Humane Society of the United States, the nation's largest animal protection organization, issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Polo Association's decision to implement random drug testing at its events, starting next year. Earlier this year, 21 polo ponies died after being injected with an incorrectly-mixed compounded supplement shortly before a match.

"The tragic deaths of 21 polo ponies at the U.S. Open Polo Championship in Wellington, Florida earlier this year devastated both the international equestrian community and the general public. The Humane Society of the United States recommended that a mandatory drug testing protocol be implemented, and commends the U.S. Polo Association for its decision to begin to implement random testing at its events next year," said Holly Hazard, The HSUS's chief innovations officer. "We urge that adequate penalties also be implemented to serve as a strong deterrent to any drugging that could endanger equine welfare. In all equestrian disciplines, the welfare of the equine participants must be of utmost concern. This is a positive step toward providing better protections for the equine competitors who participate in this rigorous sport."

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

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