Practical Issues > Animals for Entertainment > Racing - Index
Horse Injury and Retirement Law

This law would force medical records into the hands of most owners of horses and other equine involved in racing, rodeos, circuses, pony rides, and other equine public events.


(Proposed new USDA law):

My name is Ken Woodall (email address: [email protected]) and I work at home via the internet to come up with ideas to reduce equine leg injuries. It has come to my attention that retired competition horses are sometimes put back into some kind of competition, even after a previous owner determined that such action would be harmful.

In the United States of America, horses and other equine are not consumer products; they are used for riding and pulling, either commercially or privately. They have individual names and identification numbers.

The Federal Government currently has a law that effectively bans various breeds of horses from being intentionally crippled for competition (called Soring, which can be done internally or surgically); also a law which bans horses from being injured on the way to slaughter (but only) in the USA. In the USA horse slaughter laws require: length of current pregnancy, age and previous vs. transport injuries for equine be determined. At present neither depends on medical records and maybe somewhat subjective or an educated guess depending on who is doing the inspecting, which may be an employee.

This proposed would provide medical proof to re-enforce these laws and allow checks on equine leaving this country.
This proposed law would also by effect help prevent stolen horse from going to slaughter; ban retired horses from interstate competition; and aid the USDA and other national organizations in monitoring the health of the individual horse as well as the horse industry. "our statutory authority to regulate is limited to the commercial transportation of horses to slaughter and to movements to slaughter within the United States."

{(a) Horse Protection Act
as amended (15 U.S.C. 1821, 1831)

(b) Horse Slaughter Transport Program
.Federal Register (Docket No. 98-074-2) on
December 7, 2001.
("Document any pre-existing condition of the animal
prior to shipment to prove the condition did not
occur during transport.")}


WORKING TITLE: Horse Injury and Retirement Act

To help facilitate enforcement of the Horse Protection Act and the Horse Slaughter Transport Program:

All domesticated equine registered with any equine, horse, donkey, mule or other species or equine breed-specific organization, whose ownership is sold or otherwise transferred within the USA for any commercial purpose; that transfer must be accompanied by a complete (as per criteria set by this law) copy of the horse or equine's medical record (with name and any man-made identification marks), current from the day of registration or the day of enactment of this law, whichever occurs later. And further no horse or equine shall be transported within the USA to compete in any athletic competition if said medical record contains any signed statement by any owner or previous owner prohibiting the horse or equine from said competition.

Any person within the United States transporting any equine for slaughter within or outside the USA must post the name and identification number of such equine in the "Horses Bound for Slaughter" webpage of the United States Department of Agriculture website at least 24 hours prior to slaughter or leaving the United States, along with the name of the destination slaughter facility.

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