Editor’s Note: This statement is from Tom Luchento, President of Harness Horsemen International, who represents 14 individual Harness Horsemen’s Associations throughout North America and who collectively represent 7,000 harness horsemen and women and in excess of 10,000 agricultural jobs in the United States.
Burlington, NJ — Harness Horsemen International opposes the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 (HISA H.R. 1754/S. 4547).
The cost of imposing this new federal level of regulation onto an effective, existing system of state medication regulation is unknown. The federal bill simply provides for borrowing money to get started, after which racing participants will be billed for repayment plus an annual federal budget. It is unacceptable to impose these costs, which are undetermined but must be substantial, on our members, who depend on harness racing to support their families.
Veterinary science was not consulted in formulating the federal bill. The veterinary profession supports race-day Lasix, the only known therapeutic for exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage. To deny this short-acting but effective therapeutic on the day of a horse’s greatest athletic effort is inhumane.
For over 50 years Harness Horsemen International has been dedicated to the welfare of our horses and our horsemen. We strongly oppose this legislation.