The Pennsylvania State Racing Commission revealed during Tuesday’s meeting that the integrity hotline, part of a 10-step plan to improve equine safety and welfare in the state, is expected to be in place by March 1, according to bloodhorse.com.
“We’ll request a detailed message. All calls shall remain anonymous,” said Thomas Chuckas, director of Thoroughbred Horse Racing for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. “This will be not manned; it will be call in, you leave a message. In my conversations with the horsemen some people would like to comment on certain things. This will be their opportunity.”
The 10-step plan was revealed at the commission’s January meeting, and includes the following:
- Tracks will conduct an independent third party analysis of the racetrack two times per year. The first analysis for the Thoroughbred tracks is to be completed within 60 days and submitted to commission.
- Increased monitoring and oversight of AM works, employing additional veterinarians to conduct oversight and examination. That will require a reshuffling of some of the vets and putting more vets in place, but the commission believes that what occurs in the morning is important to racing and moving forward.
- Require the practicing veterinarians to attest that the horses are in fit, serviceable, and in sound condition and suitable to race.
- Trainers must submit a pre-entry form to a racing panel for permission to race. It will require the submission of the most recent 30-day medical reports for the horses. The panel should consist at a minimum of the race secretary, commission vet, steward, and horsemen’s representative.
- Institute a rule for lower-level conditions or classes: a horse that doesn’t finish in top four positions in five consecutive races is deemed non-competitive and not eligible to race in Pennsylvania.
- Requiring the practicing veterinarian to conduct an examination within 48 hours of a horse being placed on the vet’s list due to lameness. This examination will assist in determining the cause and if diagnostics are warranted. The practicing veterinarian will provide a verbal report to the commission vet.
- Intra-articular injections: The initial injection is permitted based on the practicing veterinarian’s examination and recommendation. Any additional injections require diagnostics to support further injections. If any injection is a corticosteroid, the horse is placed on the vet’s list for 30 days.
- Establish stricter criteria for removal from the vet’s list, utilizing diagnostics, scanning, and imaging.
- Establish a program to install either a pet scan machine or an MRI or the like at the racetrack in effort to detect issues.
- Create a fatality database.
Chukas added that most of the steps will be either implemented or in process by March 1, excluding number seven (which requires regulation) and numbers 9-10 (which require additional time/conversation).
Read more at bloodhorse.com.