OPPOSE H.R. 1754 — The Horse Racing Integrity Act of 2019.
CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY. "This bill establishes the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority as an independent, private non-profit corporation with responsibility for developing and administering an anti-doping and medication control program for (1) Thoroughbred, Quarter, and Standardbred horses that participate in horse races; and (2) the personnel engaged in the care, training, or racing of such horses."
"The Federal Trade Commission shall have oversight over the authority. An interstate compact may be established after five years to take over the authority's duties."
EXPERT OPINION. Dr. Sheila Lyons, DVM, the founder and director of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, warns of the following. It is mirrors our thinking and is also the reason we object to this bill so strongly.
"This proposed legislation ultimately leaves the details of drug regulation in the control of members of the horseracing industry despite the reality that following decades of promises to regulate drugs effectively, it has failed to do so."
The Horse Fund strongly objects and opposes H.R.1754.
This is yet another in a long line of disingenuous acts conducted by members of the horse racing industry to give only the appearance of rectifying its drug culture while in actuality its ultimate goal is business as usual — keeping the fox in charge of the henhouse.
Please. Give American racehorses your voice!
Already know your Representative? Great! Next step.
3. If your Representative has not cosponsored H.R.1754, contact them at House.gov and tell them you are strongly opposed to H.R.1754. Ask that they refuse to cosponsor H.R.1754 and vote against H.R.1754 should it make it on to the House floor for a vote.
If they have already cosponsored H.R.1754, contact and tell them that in light of what you have learned about thisbill, that you are strongly opposed to it, stating the reasons why (including ours and the ones below for good measure) and request that they withdraw their cosponsorship of the bill and refuse to vote for it. Yes, this is done!
You may prefer to telephone your legislators. The Capitol Hill switchboard number is (202) 224 3121. You must know who they are before phoning. The operator will not look them up for you!
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Dr. Sheila Lyons, DVM, the founder and director of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, after careful consideration of the Horse Racing Integrity Act (H.R.1754) opens comment with:
“After careful review of the House bill titled the “Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019” I would like to offer my thoughts and opinion regarding its proposed structure for anti-doping and medication control in horseracing.
"I offer this opinion based upon more than thirty years in clinical practice as an equine veterinarian in private sports medicine practice attending to racehorses and other equine athletes. I also provided testimony at the 2012 (Senate) and 2013 (House) hearings on the Pitts/Udall horseracing integrity and safety bills.”
"The Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019 seems to directly accomplish only two things:
1) It will create uniform rules and regulations regarding the use of drugs in racehorses amongst the states through the creation of a national regulatory structure imposed through a newly created nonprofit entity; and, 2) It will eliminate the administration of drugs on race day.
Unfortunately, neither of these changes will directly impact the common abuse of drugs used to mask injury and or enhance performance.
This proposed legislation ultimately leaves the details of drug regulation in the control of members of the horseracing industry despite the reality that following decades of promises to regulate drugs effectively, it has failed to do so.
Dr. Lyons continues:
"My greatest concerns about the proposed structure for the new regulatory agency (“Authority”) that will be created through this legislation are as follows:
"(1) USADA will not have independent authority to create and implement drug regulations;
(2) A committee of six horseracing industry representatives will have the ability to block any change in regulation proposed by the USADA committee;
(3) Only one veterinarian is included in the combined USADA and industry committees which means that discussions and decisions about drugs that will be officially deemed “permitted” and “therapeutic” medications will be made largely by individuals who have no expertise or authority on this subject and whose self-interests may be in conflict with the strict regulation of such drugs;
(4) USADA can leave the Authority after five years;
(5) When USADA leaves the Authority, regulation will be exclusively in the hands of industry representatives who will nominate their own successors;
(6) While the health and well-being of the horse is stated as the guiding factor for all regulation, there are no animal welfare representatives on the six member industry based committee;
(7) The Authority must publish and solicit industry and public comment prior to making any changes in regulation;
(8) There is no stated requirement that all state veterinary board statutes will be upheld and monitored for the practice of veterinary medicine on racehorses. The bill also fails to mandate the review of veterinary records as a means to ascertain that all veterinary services are ethical and put the health of the horse first."
USADA = United States Anti-Doping Agency
In case you are wondering, the Federal Trade Commission are mentioned because horse racing is gambled on.
Gambling enterprises know — we all know — that racehorses are doped as a matter of routine. Yet they make book, take bets. Doesn't this make them complicit in a federal crime.
Thank you on behalf of American racehorses for taking action on their behalf and giving them your voice. It is a matter of life and death to so many.
Last updated July 22, 2019