Industry leaders in horse racing support the change from Carter, Fitzpatrick, and Katko

LEXINGTON, KY, – Leading US horse racing professionals have come together in solidarity to support an amendment to the US House of Representatives that would prohibit the transportation of American slaughter horses across state lines and across borders for slaughter abroad. Under the leadership of US representatives Troy Carter (D-LA), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and John Katko (R-NY), the change in the “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America” ​​initiative offered (INVEST) Act, HR3684, due out in the House of Representatives in the next few weeks.

There are currently no horse slaughterhouses in the United States. However, each year over 30,000 American horses are exported alive across the borders to Canada and Mexico for slaughter – thousands of them are former racehorses and breeding animals. In addition to the anti-slaughter guidelines on most U.S. racetracks, there are numerous aftercare programs and sanctuaries across the country to prevent racehorses from ending up in the slaughter pipeline. Despite these policies and programs, racehorses slip through the cracks and find themselves in auction houses that leave them vulnerable to being bought by killer buyers, the middlemen who send horses to a gruesome death in slaughterhouses. The only way to ensure that every US horse is protected is to enact federal law making it illegal to transport or sell horses for slaughter (US Harness Racing Alumni Association).

Last month, the Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act, HR3355, was introduced in the US House of Representatives. If it goes into effect, it would prohibit horse slaughterhouses from opening on US soil and the export of horses across borders. Similar laws have been introduced in Congress over the past two decades, but have always been thwarted by industries and lawmakers who want the practice of slaughtering American horses to continue. While efforts to move the SAFE Act forward rightly continue, the bipartisan amendment to Carter, Fitzpatrick, and Katko is being offered as an alternative route. The amendment found the support of nearly 150 members of the US House of Representatives on the day it was announced, and that number is expected to grow exponentially.

“After years of pressing for a ban on the slaughter of our American horses, I am excited about this latest development and welcome our leadership in Washington for their commitment to this issue. Ending the transportation of horses for slaughter will be a turning point, ”said Staci Hancock, whose Stone Farm produced three Kentucky Derby winners. “It is time to end this brutal US practice once and for all. Horses are bred for sport, competition and society, not to be part of the food chain. As owners and breeders, we must ensure the safety and well-being of our horses. They expect their care and protection from us, and it is unscrupulous to let them go to a terrible slaughter. “

“We had a tight call this year to release our Santa Anita Derby Class 1 winner The Deputy from a killing stall. And that was far from our first rodeo, ”said Barry Irwin, owner of Team Valor, whose Animal Kingdom won the 2011 Kentucky Derby. “I support every initiative that ends this cycle.”

Lead US trainer Graham Motion, who conditioned Animal Kingdom, said: “It is high time we stopped moving American horses for slaughter across and across borders. At Herringswell, we strive to find other careers for thoroughbred horses after racing time. The transport of horses for slaughter is abhorrent and must come to an end. “

“Now that New York state lawmakers have done the right thing, I hope the federal government will join in and make sure our racehorses have a suitable home after their careers,” said Jeff Gural, owner of Allerage Farm and owner of Meadowlands Racetracks , Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs. “The sale for slaughter should have been abolished years ago.”

“As a multiple Kentucky Derby winning jockey and someone who enjoyed a Hall of Fame career, my passion for my great equestrians has never let up. The Carter, Fitzpatrick and Katko change to the INVEST Act, which will stop interstate travel across state and international borders to slaughter horses, is a must, “said Gary Stevens. “For our beautiful friends there is always a place where they can withdraw and lead the life they all deserve.”

“Everyone in racing should support the Carter, Fitzpatrick and Katko amendment – and every effort to end the slaughter of our horses. Aftercare organizations work tirelessly and at great expense, but slaughtering our horses or blackmailing our horses under threat of slaughter will never stop until slaughter is stopped at the federal level, ”said Victoria Keith, president of the National Thoroughbred Welfare Organization. “We call on every racing company to get involved now and to jointly undertake this advance in order to end this profound injustice towards our horses and the nightmare of public relations for racing.”

“If you are interested in at least horses and at most making a living working with horses, then the support for the Carter, Fitzpatrick, Katko amendment is so evident that it shouldn’t be thought twice,” said Dr. Patty Hogan from Hogan Equine. “Welfare issues are at the forefront of public concern for any sport or industry related to horses in this country, and to ignore that fact is to do so at your own peril and ruin. Passing this amendment will finally close the dangerous loopholes that still exist for our most vulnerable members of the US equine population. “

According to national surveys, over 80 percent of Americans are against the slaughter of horses and want to see them protected from such a fate. It is long overdue to stop the slaughter of American horses and the Carter, Fitzpatrick, Carter amendment is an opportunity that we must seize. Other horse racing pros supporting the change include Claiborne Farm, Cobra Farm, Crawford Farms, Equine Advocates, Fawn Leap Farm, Foxie G Foundation, Gainesway Farm, Jack Knowlton-Sackatoga Stall, Lael Stall, Machmer Hall Thoroughbreds, NP Zito Racing Stall, Neil Drysdale, Pin Oak Stud, RACE Fund, Shadowlawn Farm, Shaun Dugan Agent, Tranquility Farm, West Point Thoroughbreds and countless others.

Individuals can help pass the Carter, Fitzpatrick, Katko amendment by asking their U.S. representative to endorse the move. The change is expected to be offered to the plenary before the August recess so time is of the essence.

HFLF media press release

Photos: Thoroughbred mare rescued from a killing stall, 2021. Image rights: National Thoroughbred Welfare Organization (NTWO)

Logos of the participants of the press release cited.