Anti-slaughter policy for New York racing

December 11, 2009

An anti-slaughter policy has been introduced by the New York Racing Association which can see trainers have their track stalls permanently revoked for breaches.

Trainers are required to make thorough checks of prospective horse buyers.

"We are fully committed to protecting our sport's equine athletes," said the association's president and chief executive Charles Hayward.

"This policy sends the message that horse slaughter will not be tolerated and that those participating in this practice, either knowingly or for lack of due diligence, will not be welcome at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, or Saratoga."

The new policy states: "Any owner or trainer stabled at a New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) track found to have directly or indirectly sold a horse for slaughter will have his or her stalls permanently revoked from all NYRA tracks. NYRA requires its horsemen to conduct due diligence on those buying horses and encourages them to support rescue and adoption efforts and to find humane ways of dealing with horses unable to continue racing.

The policy follows publicity surrounding New York horse breeder Ernie Paragallo, who was banned from racing following the discovery of 177 neglected horses on his upstate farm.

Paragallo has been charged with animal cruelty.