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Each year in the racing industry, thousands of horses are forced to run with painful injuries that should warrant pulling them from the competition. Instead, as a PETA video investigation documented, trainers use a medicine cabinet full of dirty tricks—including painkillers, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory drugs, diuretics, hormones, and other powerful pharmaceuticals—to mask the animals' pain or enhance their performance.
This abuse often results in tragedy when the injured horses have catastrophic breakdowns and die on the track.
Our investigation sent shockwaves through the industry and resulted in citations and fines. New York officials passed sweeping new regulations to curb the drug culture in horse racing. The Jockey Club, which registers all Thoroughbred foals destined for racing, promised to introduce federal legislation to clean up drugging in the industry—and it did so in 2015.
Now, the bill has been reintroduced in the House as the Horseracing Integrity Act (HR 1754) by Reps. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), who co-chair the Congressional Horse Caucus. The Senate's version (S 1820) has been introduced by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.).
PETA supports the bill, which would put the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in charge of drug oversight, ban the use of all race-day medications, and include Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds, and quarter horses under its regulations.
HR 1754/S 1820 offers a chance to reduce breakdowns and deaths of horses, who have no say in whether or not they race.
With your help, we can get this legislation passed!
Please send a polite e-mail to your members of Congress urging them to cosponsor the bipartisan bill HR 1754/S 1820.