The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act became law with Sunday night's unexpected signing of a government spending package by President Trump.
The HISA would create a private agency to regulate racehorse medication, phase out the use of Lasix and other race-day drugs and bring the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency into the enforcement process. It also would establish minimum standards for racetrack safety. The private agency would report to the Federal Trade Commission.
The law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2022. Still to be determined is how it will be funded.
The act had the support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and was sponsored by Reps. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) and Andy Barr (R-Ky.).
The bill also is supported by the Jockey Club, the Breeders’ Cup, the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, racetrack owners and animal-rights advocates.
But the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association has said that its members, veterinarians and horseplayers were never consulted in the creation of the bill. It also believes that the Lasix regulations are misguided and that the USADA may not be qualified to judge medication for horses.