Two New Horse and Jockey Safety Laws Passed in California



According to the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB), two bills–SB 800 and AB 1974–have been passed and signed into law in the state of California. Both bills are instrumental in strengthening California's commitment to both equine and jockey welfare and safety.

Senator Bill Dodd's SB 800 provides greater access to veterinary records for racehorses, requires the reporting and publication of equine fatalities that occur at facilities regulated by the CHRB, and requires the publication of positive post-race test findings within five business days of their confirmation. In anticipation of this bill becoming law, the CHRB already is posting equine fatalities online.

Assembly Member Adam Gray's AB 1974 provides for a range of safety measures. This new law gives regulatory veterinarians authority to order diagnostic tests on horses, extends the time for removing horses from the Veterinarian's List, creates more veterinary oversight for horses considered to be at risk, allows diagnostic imaging to be used for pre-race examinations, requires racing associations to provide areas for enhanced veterinary examinations, enhances a whistleblower program, and provides additional funding for safety.

Some of these statutory reforms codify existing regulations, while others create new statutory authority and requirements.

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