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Horseracing Anti-Doping Measure Secures Majority Support in U.S. House

We’re thrilled to see the Horseracing Integrity Act, one of our top priorities in the 116th Congress, hit this mile marker.”
— Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action
WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, December 18, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ -- Today, the Horseracing Integrity Act garnered its 218th cosponsor in the U.S. House of Representatives, now a majority of the chamber a key milestone for this landmark legislation that would end the doping of American racehorses in competition.

The Horseracing Integrity Act (HIA), H.R. 1754, led by U.S. Reps. Paul Tonko (D-NY), and Andy Barr (R-KY) in the House and S. 1820, led by U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Martha McSally (R-AZ) in the Senate, now with 17 cosponsors, is a horse-first bill that would create a private, independent national horse racing anti-doping authority responsible for developing and administering a strict anti-doping and medication control program.

Animal Wellness Action, a member of the Coalition for Horseracing Integrity, has led the charge among animal protection groups to reform the horse racing industry by eliminating drug use and showing Americans that the health of racehorses is a top priority.

“We’re thrilled to see the Horseracing Integrity Act, one of our top priorities in the 116th Congress, hit this mile marker,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action, and a lifelong horseman. “American horseracing has dealt itself a self-inflicted wound, and Congress must pass this legislation quickly, or the debate with shift away from eliminating abuses in horseracing to eliminating horseracing itself.”

The horse racing industry is presently regulated by 38 different racing jurisdictions, which limits regulators' effective management of the many issues involved in the health and safety of racehorses.

The Horseracing Integrity Act creates an independent body, the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority under the oversight of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The new anti-doping authority would be governed by a board of six individuals with deep horse racing expertise and seven individuals from the USADA. USADA is the benchmark for drug testing and enforcement of human athletes, including the nation's Olympians, and will help ensure racehorses are free from performance-enhancing drugs during racing and training creating a safer environment for horses and jockeys.

Animal Wellness Action (Action) is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) organization with a mission of helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty. We champion causes that alleviate the suffering of companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife. We advocate for policies to stop dogfighting and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to confront factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we promote enacting good public policies and we work to enforce those policies. To enact good laws, we must elect good lawmakers, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our issues and which ones don’t. We believe helping animals helps us all.

Marty Irby
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