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West Virginia Bill Would Amend Licensing of Dog Racing Tracks

West Virginia House Bill 3093 would remove the requirement of a minimum number of live dog racing dates to qualify for a license to hold a dog race meeting, amend the licensing requirements for televising or accepting wagers on dog or horse races, and establish certain requirements to discontinue live dog racing––such as paying a $10,000 fee into a state fund to facilitate the care, adoption, or shelter placement of greyhound dogs who formerly raced in West Virginia.

New York Considers Prohibition of Horse Drawn Carriages

New York Assembly Bill 342 would prohibit the operation of horse drawn carriages in the city of New York and defines how horses may be sold or disposed of.

Advocacy Organization Sues BLM for Access to Horse Roundup Records

Friends of Animals (FOA) sued the Bureau of Land Management, alleging that the BLM has improperly withheld public records relating to wild horse roundups that FOA requested via a series of Freedom of Information Act requests between June 2021 and September 2021. FOA is requesting declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, and production of responsive records.

USDA Adds Malaysia to List of Regions Affected by Fatal Horse Disease

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it previously added Malaysia to the list of regions affected by African Horse Sickness in order to prevent introduction of the fatal equine virus into the United States. The USDA made this determination in September 3, 2020, but did not publish notice in the Federal Register for more than a year.

New York Passes Laws to Protect Race Horses

New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed Senate Bill 1442, after the Senate Bill and the identical Assembly Bill 4154 passed both houses unanimously. The newly enacted legislation amends the agriculture and markets law to prohibit the slaughter of race horses and require all thoroughbreds to be microchipped before being used for races in New York. The bill also establishes a fund for retired and rescued race horses financed by civil penalties collected in connection with certain violations of New York’s agriculture and markets laws. The legislation is effective immediately.

Chicago Bans Horse-Drawn Carriages, Beginning Next Year

The Chicago City Council has passed an ordinance which will effectively ban the use of horse carriages beginning in 2021. The city will no longer issue new licenses for horse-drawn carriages, and current licenses will not be renewed.

House Bill Would Extend Three Year Depreciation Schedule for Race Horses

The Race Horse Recovery Act of 2019 (H.R. 4786) would reinstate a previous three-year depreciation schedule for the purchase of racehorses as permanent. The change would allow purchasers of race horses to spread out that costly purchase over several years for tax purposes.

Senate Considers Horse Slaughter Legislation

S. 2732, the “John Stringer Rainey Save America’s Forgotten Equines (SAFE) Act” would amend the federal criminal code to prohibit the possession, shipping, transportation, or receiving of “any member of the family Equidae” with the intent for the animal to be slaughtered for human consumption. The bill provides for monetary penalties and up to two years imprisonment and has been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. Sens. Bob Menendez, Lindsey Graham, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Susan Collins are the lead sponsors.

Congress Considers Bill to Protect Donkeys

H.R. 5203, “The Ejiao Act,” would amend the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act to prohibit the intentional sale or importation of ejiao, a controversial gelatin made from donkey skin which is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine and cosmetic products, in foreign or interstate commerce. Dubious claims about the medicinal value of ejiao are triggering widespread theft and slaughter of donkeys in developing nations in order to meet the global demand. In an effort to curtail illicit trafficking and negative impacts on communities and animals, eBay and others already have banned its sales. The bill was introduced by Rep. Don Beyer.

New Mexico Considers Regulation of Wild Horses

New Mexico Senate Bill 385 would provide requirements for how and when wild horses may be captured and procedures and rules for the disposition of the animals following capture.