Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the California legislature unanimously passing SB 469 to give the California Horse Racing Board the authority to immediately suspend licenses of horse racing tracks:
“Under current state law, the California Horse Racing Board can only suspend horse racing at a track after a 10-day process and a public meeting, even when there are significant safety issues. The board needs more flexibility, and the bill approved by the legislature provides that.
“In April I called for the board to immediately suspend racing at Santa Anita Park after the 23rd horse died in just three months. Unfortunately the CHRB lacked authority to do so, and seven more horses ended up dying during the remainder of the race season.
“This bill is one of several measures that California – and ideally the country – must take to protect racehorses. Implementing a ban on the use of the drug Lasix for racehorses and expanding the purview of the five-person safety review board that was used during the final weeks of the Santa Anita season are additional commonsense measures that should be pursued.
“Even though the season has ended at Santa Anita, we’re not turning our attention away from the horse racing industry. Reforms must be made to prevent another season like the one we just saw. I’m pleased the state legislature passed this important bill and I look forward to the governor signing it.”