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New York Bill Aims To Help Track Retired Racehorses

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Horses round the first turn at Aqueduct race track in New York. A recently introduced bill would help keep track of horses once they stop racing and try to keep them from slaughterhouses. Credits: NYRA
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New York State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. has introduced a bill that would help track what happens to racehorses once they retire. His district is home to Aqueduct Racetrack.

Under the proposal, a commission on retired racehorses would be established with an amendment to the state pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law. “The purpose of the commission is to monitor the whereabouts and treatment of retired racehorses to further prevent the illegal transport of horses into the inhumane international slaughter industry,” the bill, S6910 says.

The commission would consist of seven members, three appointed by the governor, two appointed by the temporary president of the senate and two appointed by the speaker of the assembly. Of the three members appointed by the governor, two would be appointed upon the recommendation of the gaming commission. One of the appointed members would represent owners and breeders of Standardbred and one for Thoroughbreds.  

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Three of the members would be horsemen expertise in training horses for uses other than racing; farm or other rural economic business applications for horses, and familiar with the use of horses for recreational or therapeutic uses.

The new commission, in cooperation with the gaming commission, would be responsible for the creation of a registry to track retired racehorses after they stop racing. The new commission would work with the gaming commission to identify methods by which the information in the retired racehorse registry may be utilized to address the well-being and/or employment of retired racehorses, including but not limited to strategies to address the issue of abandoned racehorses and to prevent the slaughter of retired racehorses.

Ownership changes, or the death of a horse, would have to be reported within 72 hours. A New York State resident who fails to report such chance would be fined up to $500.

The bill has been referred to committee.

The Assembly version of the bill is A4167 See www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2017/s6910 for the complete text and to voice an opinion on the bill.

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