Statement by Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, following the announcement of changes including a ban on race day medication:
"We are pleased to see the ban on race day medication announced recently by The Stronach Group, along with the adoption of other critical reforms at the Santa Anita racetrack. However, this comes only days after the decision to reopen the training tracks, which followed the announcement of an “indefinite” shut down of the track until they determined the cause of death of 21 horses. This was a fatal error. We maintain it is the responsibility of track officials to conduct a full investigation into each of the now 22 deaths, to determine if any medications and/or drugs played a role and share the conclusion publicly. While Santa Anita is making the right move now, there are nearly 100 racetracks across the country and all continue to allow horses to train and race on medication. This underscores the importance of Congress moving swiftly to pass the Horseracing Integrity Act (H.R. 1754), reintroduced today by Representatives Tonko (D-NY) and Barr (R-KY), which will make this and other positive reforms."