Tempers Flare Over Proposed Anti-Slaughter Rule At Illinois Racing Board Meeting

by | 11.18.2015 | 10:53am

Tempers flared and the discussion grew heated regarding a proposal that would prevent the shipment of horses from tracks to slaughter facilities at a recent meeting of the Illinois Racing Board Nov. 17.

The Blood-Horse reports that during the debate, board member Kathy Byrne, who was the sponsor of the proposal, withdrew it from consideration and announced her resignation from the board.

Despite strong support from both Thoroughbred and Standardbred horsemen's groups, Arlington International chairman Richard Duchossois remained uncertain of the liability the new rules would impose on racetracks. Duchossios said that while he “supports the goal” of the proposal, he wanted more clarification.

Michael Pieczonka, the attorney for the racing board, said that his interpretation was that the rules “would impose liability on tracks” and that current existing rules could be used to achieve those goals instead. According to the Blood-Horse, that sparked a heated exchange that resulted in Kathy Byrne withdrawing the proposal and announcing her resignation.

No further action was taken on the matter, since the proposal was withdrawn from consideration. However, board members were told that the measure could be reintroduced at the next meeting in December.

Read more in the Blood-Horse

  • Bob C

    The definition of dysfunctional? I-L-L-I-N-O-I-S.

  • swiss305

    While they do have to be careful of the wording of any official policy or mandate, it is very important to the public image of racing and to the humane treatment of the horses that a policy of this kind be approved. Racing is shrinking in this country and will disappear altogether if the public suspects or knows for certain that horses are being used and thrown away to a horrible fate. The public is more sympathetic to the animals than ever before and is watching with diligence and determination to root out exploitation and abuse. Kathy Byrne, please come back.

  • Sparky

    What do you propose should be done with broken down horses? euthanization v/s salvage?
    Please look at what is happening currently with tens of thousands of horses being turned loose in America today to fend for themselves as their is no viable means of humanely controlling the population of horses no longer fit for use or being used in a responsible , kind manner. This has reached crisis proportions on BLM lands and elsewhere.

    • greatform

      Euthanization is a humane end. There’s nothing humane at all about a nightmare trip and terrifying end in a slaughterhouse. Horses feel, sense and think-they are not “salvage”!

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