NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A3968
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, in
relation to establishing the commission on retired racehorses
The purpose of the commission is to monitor the whereabouts and treat-
ment of retired racehorses to further prevent the illegal transport of
horses into the inhumane international slaughter industry.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1: The racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law is amended
by adding a new article 7A.
Section 2. Severability. Section 3. Effective date.
SUMMARY OF AMENDMENTS:
Amendments were made to clarify reporting requirements, the responsibil-
ities of owners to report to the database of retired racehorses, and to
establish an effective date of April 1, 2021.
Horses have played a significant role in the history and culture of the
United States; more specifically, horses in the racing industry have
generated billions of dollars for the state of New York.
Despite what they may have contributed, many horses at a young age which
are no longer profitable or affordable for the owner wind up in interna-
tional slaughterhouses to be inhumanely slaughtered for consumption
abroad where horse meat is a major delicacy. In addition to horse
slaughter being a huge breach in proper and ethical treatment of
animals, this serves as a significant food safety issue for humans
considering that the majority of horses are administered drugs and medi-
cations that are not meant for any animal intended for human consump-
This legislation will implement a commission with the intention to
ensure the proper treatment of the horses following their racing career
and to further prevent the illegal transport of horses to slaughterhous-
2019-2020 A3535 Passed the Assembly
01/03/18 A4167 referred to racing and wagering
This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it
shall have become law
STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
January 29, 2021
Introduced by M. of A. PRETLOW -- read once and referred to the Commit-
tee on Racing and Wagering
AN ACT to amend the racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law, in
relation to establishing the commission on retired racehorses
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. The racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law is
2 amended by adding a new article 7-A to read as follows:
3 ARTICLE 7-A
4 COMMISSION ON RETIRED RACEHORSES
5 Section 710. Commission on retired racehorses.
6 711. Powers and duties of commission.
7 712. Reports on retired racehorses.
8 § 710. Commission on retired racehorses. 1. There is hereby estab-
9 lished a commission on retired racehorses. Such commission on retired
10 racehorses shall consist of seven members, three of whom shall be
11 appointed by the governor, two of whom shall be appointed by the tempo-
12 rary president of the senate and two of whom shall be appointed by the
13 speaker of the assembly. Of the three members appointed by the governor,
14 two shall be appointed upon the recommendation of the gaming commission.
15 One of the appointed members of the commission on retired racehorses
16 shall be representative of owners and breeders of standardbred horses
17 and one shall be representative of owners and breeders of thoroughbred
18 horses. Three of the appointed members of the commission on retired
19 racehorses shall be representative of: (a) persons with expertise in
20 training horses for uses other than racing, such as riding schools,
21 steeplechase competitions, show horse competitions (e.g., dressage,
22 hunter/jumper, English, Western, and costume competitions), and other
23 recreational uses, (b) persons with experience in the potential farm or
24 other rural economic business applications for horses, and (c) persons
25 familiar with the use of horses for recreational or therapeutic uses.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 3968 2
1 2. The members of the commission on retired racehorses shall serve for
2 terms of four years each.
3 3. Every member of the commission on retired racehorses shall serve at
4 the pleasure of the official who appointed him or her. Vacancies in the
5 membership of such commission shall be filled in the manner provided for
6 original appointments.
7 4. The members of the commission on retired racehorses shall receive
8 no compensation for their services, but shall be allowed their actual
9 and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties
10 pursuant to this section.
11 § 711. Powers and duties of commission. 1. The commission on retired
12 racehorses, in cooperation with the gaming commission, shall be respon-
13 sible for the oversight of retired racehorses, including the tracking of
14 such racehorses. For the purposes of this article, a retired racehorse
15 shall mean (a) a New York-bred thoroughbred as defined by subdivision
16 three of section two hundred fifty-one of this chapter which is no long-
17 er engaged in horseracing or (b) a standardbred which meets or ever met
18 the standards set forth in subdivision one of section three hundred
19 thirty-four of this chapter and which is no longer engaged in horse
21 2. The commission on retired racehorses, in cooperation with the
22 gaming commission, shall be responsible for the creation of a registry
23 which would track retired racehorses in New York state. Such registry
24 shall include information provided by each owner and subsequent owner of
25 a retired racehorse, as provided in section seven hundred twelve of this
26 article. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commission on
27 retired racehorses shall maintain and update this registry. The commis-
28 sion on retired racehorses may access any relevant information in the
29 registries designated and administered by the New York state thorough-
30 bred breeding and development fund and the agriculture and New York
31 state horse breeding development fund to facilitate the implementation
32 of this article.
33 3. The commission on retired racehorses shall work with the gaming
34 commission to identify methods by which the information in the retired
35 racehorse registry may be utilized to address the well-being and/or
36 employment of retired racehorses, including but not limited to strate-
37 gies to address the issue of abandoned racehorses and to prevent the
38 slaughter of retired racehorses. The commission on retired racehorses
39 shall also furnish related future recommendations regarding the funding,
40 care and treatment of retired racehorses. Such recommendations and rele-
41 vant data that support such recommendations shall be submitted to the
42 gaming commission for publication on their website.
43 4. The commission on retired racehorses shall work with the gaming
44 commission to publish on the gaming commission website at least quarter-
45 ly, in such forms as the gaming commission may deem proper, a report of
46 aggregate data from the retired racehorse registry including the number
47 of retired racehorses and any other information which the gaming commis-
48 sion may deem proper. Such report shall also include information on how
49 to report violations as provided in subdivision three of section seven
50 hundred twelve of this article to the commission on retired racehorses.
51 5. The commission on retired racehorses shall share with the gaming
52 commission any suspected violations as provided in subdivision three of
53 section seven hundred twelve of this article at a time and in a manner
54 to be determined and prescribed by the gaming commission for the purpose
55 of assessing civil penalties.
A. 3968 3
1 § 712. Reports on retired racehorses. 1. Within seventy-two hours
2 after any change in ownership regarding a retired racehorse, boarded in
3 New York state during any part of the calendar year, the new owner or
4 owners of the horse shall report to the commission on retired racehorses
5 that such ownership has changed and shall file a statement listing the
6 name or names of the previous owner or owners and the license number of
7 any license issued by the gaming commission to the previous owner or
8 owners, the name or names, telephone number or telephone numbers and
9 address or addresses of the new owner or owners, the license number of
10 any license issued by the gaming commission to the new owner or owners,
11 the tattoo number of such horse and any other information which the
12 commission on retired racehorses may require. In the event that there
13 are multiple owners of a retired racehorse, one designated owner may
14 register on behalf of all owners.
15 2. Within seventy-two hours after the death of a retired racehorse,
16 the owner or owners of the horse shall report such death to the commis-
17 sion on retired racehorses and shall file a statement including a death
18 certificate by a licensed veterinarian and any other information which
19 the commission on retired racehorses may require.
20 3. Any sole or joint owner of a retired racehorse who is a resident of
21 the state and who fails to file a statement required to be filed by this
22 section shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed two hundred
23 fifty dollars for each violation.
24 § 2. Severability. If any clause, sentence, subdivision, paragraph,
25 section or part of this act be adjudged by any court of competent juris-
26 diction to be invalid, such judgement shall not affect, impair or inval-
27 idate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to
28 the clause, sentence, subdivision, paragraph, section or part thereof
29 directly involved in the controversy in which such judgement shall have
30 been rendered.
31 § 3. This act shall take effect on April 1, 2023.