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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By Ken Weingartner — The U.S. Trotting Association has sent a letter of support for the Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act of 2021 to Congressional leaders: Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in the U.S. House of Representatives and Majority Leader Charles Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in the U.S. Senate, commending their “recent legislative efforts aimed at prohibiting the transport of horses for purposes of slaughter for human consumption.”

The letter signed by USTA President Russell Williams and Executive Vice President and CEO Mike Tanner stated that “We strongly support congressional efforts to end the legal pipeline of U.S. horses being transported outside of the United States for slaughter and human consumption. This loophole enables bad actors to take advantage of horses and horse owners in vulnerable situations.

“The existence of this loophole also stymies programs and organizations working to provide more suitable option for care,” continued the letter.

The letter also cited USTA support programs for retired Standardbred racehorses including the USTA’s Support Our Standardbreds and Full Circle programs and the organization’s efforts in the establishment of the Standardbred Transition Alliance.

In speaking on behalf of the USTA and the harness racing industry, Williams and Tanner emphasized that “Horse owners, breeders, and the like should not have to fear that selling or donating their horse might mean unintentionally placing them in the horsemeat pipeline…

Closing this loophole will allow for the better protection of horses and those looking to provide them with care.”

H.R. 3355, the SAFE Act of 2021, was introduced by Representatives Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL).

S. 2732, the John Stringer Rainey SAFE Act was introduced by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Susan Collins (R-ME).

To read the complete USTA letter to Congressional leaders, click here.

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