New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed a measure into law explicitly banning the sale of racehorses or herds for slaughter, requiring the microchips of all racehorses to better track their whereabouts once the race is over. and to create a tax check for people to contribute to a fund dedicated to the care of retired racehorses.
The act, which is supported by industry stakeholders, was passed by state lawmakers last June and signed into law by Hochul on December 1.
The anti-slaughter clause, effective immediately, prohibits the slaughter of racehorses and herds and causes any person or entity to sell, exchange, buy, sell, own, transport or receive horse for “slaughter purpose” is illegal” it.
Violations are punishable with a criminal misdemeanor, as well as $1,000 per horse or $2,500 per business entity for a first offense, as well as possible loss of license to engage racing in the state.
The bill’s sponsors, Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. of Queens and Congressman Gary Pretlow of Westchester, both Democrats, said in a bill memo earlier this year that the Thoroughbred industry has taken significant steps to try to ensure the safety of and the health of retired racehorses. . “But the state has an obligation to ensure greater participation,” the two lawmakers, who chaired the Senate and Congressional race committees, wrote.
The measure comes as the horse racing industry is increasingly being attacked by animal rights groups. Last month, legislation was introduced in the State Assembly — which has yet to pass in the state Senate — to remit $230 million in funds from electronic lottery terminal casinos, now moving under tracking, wallet and livestock funds for other programs, such as funding for public schools.
The new law signed Wednesday also prohibits any horse from competing in any race unless it has been microchiped with information provided to the Jockey Club or other organizations depending on the type. event horse. The New York State Gaming Commission will also be granted access to chip information.
It also provides for the provision that the Thoroughbred and Standard stock funds set aside funding lines for retired racehorse care programs and set aside any fines collected by the state from the state. anti-slaughter provisions for access to aftercare programs and facilities.
Liability for the supply of slaughter is limited to the individual or entity that is ultimately in the horse ownership chain, and the law provides for certain notification liability for horse sellers and buyers.
The state Department of Agriculture must also run an information campaign to make a wide variety of players — from horse owners to traders and recreational horse businesses — aware of the anti-slaughter provisions. of the new law. It must also have a public awareness drive about the tax refund write-off for equine initiatives—join that funding stream with a long list of current write-offs for everything from breast cancer research to wildlife, volunteer firefighters and homeless veterans efforts.
The law has been pushed forward by a variety of stakeholders, including the New York Racing Association, the New York Thoroughbred Riders Association and the New York Thoroughbred Breeders. The NYRA had a policy whereby owners or trainers who attempted at an NYRA track would have their rights to their stables permanently revoked if they were found to be selling a horse for slaughter.
“New York State has long been a national leader when it comes to responsibly protecting our retired racehorses. Due to the work of Senator Addabbo and Member of Congress Pretlow. , the act reinforces that commitment while also drafting into law many of the best practices developed in recent years by the NYRA, New York riders, and ranchers across the state. all elements of this important legislation, and we thank Governor Hochul for prioritizing the health and safety of New York’s horses,” said NYRA senior communications director Patrick McKenna. after the bill is signed into law.
Addabbo and Pretlow said: “Every stakeholder in the racing industry shares the responsibility of ensuring a safe and healthy life for racehorses after they retire.
https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/255315/ny-gov-hochul-signs-into-law-horse-welfare-legislation NY Governor Hochul signs into law the Horse Welfare Act