WASHINGTON—The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society Legislative Fund applaud the decision by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas upholding the constitutionality of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. The decision was announced on March 31. The organizations expect the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky to come to the same conclusion in a separate case.
“We were joined by key stakeholders in the horse racing industry to pass the law to protect horses from illicit drugs that mask pain or enhance their performance, leading to fatal breakdowns,” said Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. “The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act will also improve conditions on tracks that are a danger to horses and their jockeys.”
“The court’s upholding the intent of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act is a win for the Authority created by the new law, but more importantly the horses who will benefit from safer tracks,” said Sara Amundson, president of Humane Society Legislative Fund. “While the racetrack safety portion of this law goes into effect on July 1, we’re anxiously awaiting the selection of an agency to oversee the crucial drug enforcement element of the law. We urge the organization to move swiftly to negotiate a contract with an anti-doping agency that can fulfill the mandate of Congress to rein in American horse racing’s drug habit. The lives of racehorses are at stake, and time is of the essence.”
- Erica Heffner