The Humane Society of the United States announced its entry into the horse racing world Thursday. Discussions regarding animal welfare issues and elevating the welfare standards in horse racing led to the formation of the National Horse Racing Advisory Council.
The council is comprised of industry professionals and specialists who will promote higher animal welfare standards in racing, according to the Humane Society. Joe De Francis will chair the council. He is the former CEO and controlling shareholder of the Maryland Jockey Club.
The group states it will help with lobbying efforts that could oversee the industry’s drug protocols.
The Humane Society has traditionally worked within equine matters of horse slaughter and horse soring. Its entry into the horse racing industry is the latest in the group’s focus on equine welfare.
“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,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The HSUS.