WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Clay Higgins (R-LA) will introduce the Racehorse Health and Safety Act of 2023 (RHSA), which would protect the health and welfare of racing horses and improve the integrity and safety of horse racing.
In December 2020, through an omnibus bill, Congress passed the Horseracing Safety and Integrity Act (HISA), which was later signed into law by President Trump. HISA was passed with the intention of bringing uniformity to the horse racing industry by establishing a wide set of rules that would be implemented and enforced by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority.
Since its passage, which Congressman Higgins opposed, HISA has been riddled with legal setbacks. After its full implementation, Churchill Downs Racetrack, home of the Kentucky Derby, was forced to shut down after twelve horses died in six weeks. Despite spending millions, the HISA Authority has failed to identify the cause of the problem.
The Racehorse Health and Safety Act would:
- Repeal the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA).
- Grant states the right to enter into the interstate compact, which is a contract between multiple states to develop nationwide rules governing scientific control and racetrack safety for horse racing.
- Establish the Racehorse Health and Safety Organization (RHSO) which will regulate the horse racing industry.
- Establish three Scientific Medication Control Committees (SMCCs) to draft recommended rules for each breed.
“Government should be a partner to Americans, not a predator,” said Congressman Higgins. “This legislation brings Constitutional liberties and rights to the forefront, protecting the horse racing industry and the beautiful animals that we love.”
This legislation is endorsed by the National Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association (HBPA), the United Trotting Association (USTA), the North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians (NAARV), and others.
Read the legislation here.