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USTA's Williams supports statements of vet lawmaker

September 10, 2020

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On the same day that Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act in the Senate, the Energy and Commerce Committee marked up the companion legislation in the U.S. House.  Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY) offered an amendment in the nature of a substitute to the Horseracing Integrity Act (H.R. 1754) to mirror the bill introduced by Senator McConnell. The markup sparked fierce debate among the members of the committee.
During debate Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), a veterinarian and co-chair of the House Veterinary Caucus, railed against the lack of any equine medical input on a bill that purports to promote the health and welfare of horses, the lack of veterinary expertise on the Authority that the bill creates, and the lack of any basis in veterinary science for banning race-day Lasix.
In response, the United States Trotting Association (USTA) issued the following statement in support of Representative Schrader’s comments.
“Certain Thoroughbred interests have made race-day Lasix a red herring to distract the public from the fact that Thoroughbred racing itself causes many of the deplorable, catastrophic breakdowns in the Thoroughbred breed. Race-day Lasix is the humane therapy for horses being asked to stress their pulmonary systems to the utmost on a single day. Lasix is not performance-enhancing, it is not doping, and it does not mask illegal substances. Banning Lasix before it is scientifically studied, to echo Representative Schrader, is putting the cart before the horse. As Rep. Schrader explained, this bill is not ready for prime time,” said USTA President Russell Williams. (USTA)
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