The Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America today issued the following statement regarding allegations by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that horses under the care of trainer Steve Asmussen were routinely treated cruelly:

“The TRA’s position is the mistreatment of horses and the intentional violation of rules should be punished by swift and severe penalties.

“Any allegations of mistreatment or callous disregard of the welfare and safety of horses and human participants should receive full investigation and prompt action.

“Furthermore, in 2012, TRA members voted unanimously to advocate the Uniform Medication and Penalty Model Rules, developed by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and approved by the Racing Commissioners International (RCI).  By the end of 2013, those policies had been adopted by many of the leading racing states, and efforts continue to ensure unanimous adoption in the current year.

“The TRA urges all racing commissions to press for the immediate adoption of the Model Rules for the benefit of the sport, the racing public, and especially the racehorses in competition.”