Penn National Gaming, Inc. (“PNGI”) has reissued its Animal Welfare Policy that is part of its company wide Horse Racing Guide applicable to all horse racing properties owned or managed by PNGI. PNGI has had an anti-slaughter policy in effect since 2010 and issued its first Horse Racing Guide in 2011 to institute a code of conduct for all racing participants at its facilities. The Horse Racing Guide is updated annually and is paired with local rules for each racing property. Al individuals participating in racing at PNGI properties are subject to the provisions of the Horse Racing Guide.
The newest revision of the Animal Welfare Policy includes new language regarding the transport of horses, including horses being transported via cargo ship, as well as reinforcing responsibility for the overall health and welfare of individuals equine charges.
“The recent reports of horses being shipped via cargo containers has raised awareness and importance of this issue and we felt this was a good opportunity to update and reiterate our policies regarding animal welfare issues,” said Christopher McErlean, Vice President of Racing for PNGI. “This is a priority for PNGI but must also be a priority for all industry participants who need to make a good faith effort to do the right thing in all matters related to equine health and welfare. Those who continue to work outside of these guidelines should not continue to have the privilege of racing at our properties.”
The entire Penn National Gaming, Inc. updated Animal Welfare Policy is provided below:
H. Animal Welfare
The health and safety of the equine participants competing at all PENN racing properties is of paramount importance and all Racing Participants, especially those who are entrusted with the ownership and the ongoing care of these animals, must take all reasonable actions and care to ensure that their equine charges are treated with dignity and respect.
Any Racing Participant covered by this Horsemen’s Guide who handles or treats any animal without regard for the well-being of the animal or causes physical injury or pain or suffering to the animal, including excessive or unnecessary training/whipping, transporting, or neglect in the care, feeding or medical attention shown to the animal, as determined in the sole discretion of Racetrack, may be sanctioned. Except as required by statute or regulation, it is the sole responsibility of the trainer to ensure that a licensed and competent veterinarian is available at all times to ensure the health and welfare of such trainer’s horses and to attend to trainer’s horses at all times such horses are on the grounds of Racetrack in any and all emergency situations in which a regulatory or Racetrack veterinarian is not required to be present or to respond to a trainer’s horse(s).
In the event Racetrack receives credible and verifiable information regarding a Racing Participant who knowingly, or without conducting proper due diligence, buys or sells a horse for slaughter, directly or indirectly, such individual(s) may be sanctioned by the Racetrack up to and including revocation of stalls and exclusion from racing at all PENN properties. The Racetrack highly encourages Racing Participants to obtain proper written documentation on sale or transfer of any horse that they previously raced or was stabled on the grounds of Racetrack and lack of such documentation shall be considered a failure in due diligence efforts. The Racetrack reserves the right to require trainer or individuals responsible for a horse to provide such documentation as requested and failure to cooperate may result in sanctions by the Racetrack, up to and including revocations of stalls and exclusion from racing at all PENN properties.
In the event the Racetrack receives credible and verifiable information regarding a Racing Participant who knowingly, or without conducting proper due diligence, ships, assists in the shipping of, or knowingly participates in the sale or transfer of a horse that is transported by cargo container/ship, such individual(s) may be sanctioned by the Racetrack up to and including revocation of stalls and exclusion from racing at all PENN properties. The Racetrack reserves the right to require trainer, owner, or any individuals responsible for a horse to provide documentation proving the shipping method being used for a horse under their care or ownership and failure to cooperate in providing requested information may result in sanctions by the Racetrack, up to and including revocations of stalls and exclusion from racing at all PENN properties.
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