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HSUS Forms National Horse Racing Advisory Council

The Humane Society of the United States has announced the formation of a National Horse Racing Advisory Council.  “The HSUS is serious about its responsibility to engage with sensible leaders within different industries where there are animal mistreatment issues to find a pathway for reform,” said Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The HSUS. “Everyone who makes or has made a living from the horse racing industry has a moral obligation to take all reasonable steps necessary to protect and enhance the welfare of the equine athletes who are the heart and soul of the sport and the business of horse racing.”

Joe De Francis will chair the council. A long-time animal advocate, he is the former CEO and controlling shareholder of the Maryland Jockey Club, which is the corporate parent of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course (home of the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel of Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown).

In addition to DeFrancis, council members include a diverse set of stakeholders within the industry, including Jim Gagliano, Stacie Clark-Rogers, Allen Gutterman, Joe Gorajec, Staci Hancock and Chris McCarran.

Marty Irby, senior director of rural outreach and equine protection at The HSUS, said: “The establishment of our National Horse Racing Advisory Council is a tremendous step forward for the welfare of equines, the promotion of humane practices and standards both on and off the track, and for the economic vitality and future of the horse racing industry. We are grateful for the opportunity to work with each of these dedicated professionals who recognize the problems that must be solved and want the sport to thrive and flourish, while maintaining the highest standards of animal welfare.”

“The horse racing industry should no longer be an outlier in the humane economy,” added Pacelle. “It’s time for the industry, and the Congress, to adopt a set of independent rules to end doping of horses.”


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