As the legal saga that is HISA continues to be bantered around the courts horse racing fans have heard some common themes develop from those in support of and in opposition of the legislation and regulations. Those in opposition have raised many points they have repeated used as arguments for what is wrong with the entire idea and process. One of the themes that has been made as part of every opposition argument is that there is a better way to go about this, and a better set of uniform rules and regulations can be made if the proper players were brought to the table to create them.
As a racing fan for the last 30 plus years I can say we all desire both uniform rules and a disciplinary set- up that provides for fair due process but quick resolution of issues with proper penalties. As a veterinarian and animal welfare advocate, I have fought for proper rules to ensure the welfare of these majestic equine athletes. As someone who has been involved in process of creating regulations on the state level for dog kennels in PA, I know all too well how hard it can be to reach consensus and have everyone agree on everything proposed. It is the nature of the process and human nature itself. However, I also have learned through all these areas that when something is not liked or desired, a counter plan or counter offer is usually made to provide an alternative to what is being objected to. The lack of any type of counterproposal or set of rules/regulations being set forth by the people in opposition certainly is puzzling.
All the key players that are claiming to be excluded in this process of creating uniform regs could easily have come together and formed a committee, group, or whatever you want to call it of their own and work on crafting a competing set of rules and how they are to be implemented throughout the country that would alleviate any constitutionality concerns. I have yet to see even an outline proposed from any of these opposition groups on what should be done instead. Continuing with the status quo is not one that will be accepted by anyone as it has shown to be woefully lacking in many areas.
The National HBPA Convention is happening soon. Will any kind of update be given then? Will a new committee be announced? Will we finally see this “better plan” that all opposed to HISA claim can be created? Or…will we merely see the same old statements of HISA being unconstitutional and it needs to be done away with?
It is always easy to be the party in opposition to something. It is much harder to be the ones to craft a plan that will work.
–Bryan Langlois, DVM, Racing Fan and Vice-President ThoroFan