The New York Racing Association has announced an anti-slaughter policy that introduces harsh penalties to offending horsemen while encouraging them to support horse rescue and adoption initiatives.
The newly created policy, announced in a Dec. 10 release, is as follows:
Any owner or trainer stabled at a NYRA track found to have directly or indirectly sold a horse for slaughter will have his or her stalls permanently revoked from all NYRA tracks. NYRA requires its horsemen to conduct due diligence on those buying horses and encourages them to support rescue and adoption efforts and to find humane ways of dealing with horses unable to continue racing.
“We are fully committed to protecting our sport’s equine athletes,” said NYRA president and CEO Charles Hayward. “This policy sends the message that horse slaughter will not be tolerated and that those participating in this practice, either knowingly or for lack of due diligence, will not be welcome at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, or Saratoga.”
In addition to its stance against horse slaughter, NYRA also supports numerous equine retirement, anti-slaughter, and research organizations, and has made donations to the following organizations within the past year:
• Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation – Mission to save thoroughbred horses no longer able to compete on the racetrack from possible neglect, abuse and slaughter.
• Columbia Green Humane Society - Dedicated to the protection, humane treatment and well being of all animals.
• Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation – Committed to the advancement of research to enhance the health and soundness of horses of all breeds.
• Exceller Fund – Providing a future beyond the finish line, the Exceller Fund works to transition thoroughbred horses to a second career off the track.
Diana Pikulski, the executive director of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, added this:
"This policy is important because it makes everybody involved with a horse aware that they need to plan for its retirement and educate themselves about the options.
"It is also significant that NYRA, NYTHA, the NY Riders and The Jockey Club have already donated $100,000 for retirement in NY and committed themselves to developing a long term plan for retirement funding. We have had several follow up meetings to develop that plan and all the parties have participated."