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AB-2177 Horse racing: equine medication, welfare, and safety.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 02/11/2020 09:00 PM
AB2177:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2177


Introduced by Assembly Member Kalra

February 11, 2020


An act to amend Sections 19440, 19577, 19580, 19581, and 19582 of, to amend the heading of Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 19580) of Chapter 4 of Division 8 of, and to add Sections 19481.9, 19581.5, 19581.7, and 19584 to, the Business and Professions Code, relating to horse racing.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2177, as introduced, Kalra. Horse racing: equine medication, welfare, and safety.
(1) Existing law, the Horse Racing Law, provides that the California Horse Racing Board has all powers necessary and proper to enable it to carry out fully and effectually the purposes of the Horse Racing Law and requires that the board be responsible for, among other things, adopting rules and regulations for the protection of the public and the control of horse racing and parimutuel wagering, and the administration and enforcement of all laws, rules, and regulations affecting horse racing and parimutuel wagering. A violation of the Horse Racing Law is a crime.
This bill would require the board to adopt rules and regulations for the welfare and safety of equines that are used for the purpose of horse racing and to convene and oversee a panel of independent veterinarians and stewards to review the medical, training, and racing histories of horses entered to race and be authorized to deem a horse unfit to run. The bill would also require the board to adopt regulations on the authorized use of minerals, vitamins, or other supplements and would require the board to only authorize uses that are in the best interest of the welfare and safety of the horse.
(2) The Horse Racing Law authorizes the board to issue a license to a track operator to conduct horse racing meetings in accordance with the Horse Racing Law at the track specified in the license application. That law also requires the board to, among other things, establish safety standards governing the uniformity and content of the track base and racing surface, inner and outer rails, gates and gaps, turf, access and egress to the track, lighting for night racing, equipment for horse and rider, drainage, communications, veterinary services, medical and ambulance services, and other track facilities in order to improve the safety of horses, riders, and workers at the racetrack.
This bill would require, for licensed track operators with an average daily handle of $1,500,000 or more, other than a fair, to install cameras covering the horse stalls of all entries, provide computerized tomography (CT) scanning equipment or a digital scanning equivalent to detect potential horse injuries that shall be available onsite, establish an onsite central pharmacy, report to the board any sealing or reinforcement of the track that is not considered regular maintenance, and prohibit training or races at least 7 days after any sealing or reinforcement of the track that is not considered regular maintenance or until the board deems the track surface not to pose a danger to the safety of the horses from a hardened impact.
The bill would also authorize the board to require racetracks to transition to high-quality synthetic surfaces and require the revocation of the license of a track operator who fails to comply with the requirements as described above.
(3) The Horse Racing Law requires that any blood or urine test sample required by the board to be taken from a horse that is entered in any race be divided or taken in duplicate, if there is sufficient sample available after the initial test sample has been taken. That law also requires the executive director of the board to report to the board a finding of a prohibited drug substance in an official test sample within 24 hours of the confirmation of that prohibited drug substance in the split sample by the independent laboratory, or within 24 hours of waiver of split sample testing by the owner or trainer.
This bill would require the executive director of the board to also make the test results publicly available, by posting on its internet website, a finding and the results of the prohibited drug substance as described above.
(4) The Horse Racing Law also requires the board to adopt regulations to establish policies, guidelines, and penalties relating to equine medication in order to preserve and enhance the integrity of horse racing in the state. That law requires that those policies, guidelines, and penalties include, at a minimum, provisions that prohibit, among other things, a substance of any kind from being administered by any means to a horse after it has been entered to race in a horse race, unless the board has, by regulation, specifically authorized the use of the substance and its quantity and composition. That law provides that violations of this provision, as determined by the board, are punishable as set forth in regulations adopted by the board.
This bill would revise and expand these provisions to prohibit medications from being administered to a horse that is engaged in racing activities, including training related to competing in parimutuel racing, unless it is to treat a specific medical condition diagnosed within the context of a valid veterinarian-client patient relationship, as specified. The bill would require that the license of a trainer with more than 3 violations of these medication requirements or the medication rules or regulations of any other state be suspended or revoked. The bill would authorize the board to suspend a trainer’s license during the time period of any administrative action. The bill would require the board to suspend a trainer’s license following the death of a horse during racing or training, pending investigation by the board. The bill would require that all penalty revenues imposed pursuant to these provisions be directed to horse welfare and safety measures, as described. The bill would require the board to publicly disclose those measures on their internet website.
The bill would require, for licensed track operators with an average daily handle of $1,500,000 or more, all medications administered at racetracks to be dispensed through an onsite central pharmacy. The bill would require that all medications dispensed onsite be limited to the least amount needed for the horse while staying at the racetrack. The bill would require the board to adopt regulations to require that the onsite central pharmacy has complete electronic recordkeeping to facilitate monitoring of veterinarian treatment and medications. The bill would prohibit private veterinarians from bringing medications to the track that are not dispensed at the onsite central pharmacy.
The bill would require the board to adopt regulations to ensure that trainers are educated and encouraged to provide horses with sufficient time to recuperate from normal exercise-induced microdamage to the horse’s bones and injuries. The bill would require an owner to not order horses to be entered in races if a veterinarian has recommended against it for the welfare and safety of the horse. The bill would require a veterinarian to report owners who violate this requirement to the board. The bill would also require the board to administer all auctions of thoroughbreds 2 years of age and younger, as specified.
The bill would require that all records required by law to be kept by a veterinarian subject to the Horse Racing Law, including, but not limited to, records pertaining to the diagnosis and treatment of race horses and records pertaining to drugs or devices for use on race horses, and all equipment and drugs on the premises, or in any other place, where veterinary medicine, dentistry, surgery, or the various branches thereof is being practiced with respect to race horses, or otherwise in the possession of a veterinarian for purposes of that practice, be open to inspection by the board, or its authorized representatives, during an inspection as part of a regular inspection program by the board, or during an investigation initiated in response to a complaint that a licensee or contractee has violated any law or regulation that constitutes grounds for disciplinary action by the board.
The bill would require that a copy of all those records be provided to the board immediately upon request. The bill would also require that these veterinary records and the equipment and drugs as described above be open to inspection by the owner of the horse, a licensed board or track veterinarian authorized by the board, the currently licensed trainer of the race horse, or the race horse’s jockey. The bill would prohibit the board, its authorized representatives, or any person authorized to inspect the records, equipment, or drugs as specified under these provisions and the information obtained thereby from transferring to, discussing, or sharing with any unauthorized person or entity.
(5) By imposing new requirements under the Horse Racing Law, the violation of which would be a crime, the bill would create a state-mandated local program.
(6) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 19440 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

19440.
 (a) The board shall have all powers necessary and proper to enable it to carry out fully and effectually the purposes of this chapter. Responsibilities of the board shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) Adopting rules and regulations for the protection of the public and the control of horse racing and parimutuel wagering.
(2) Adopting rules and regulations for the welfare and safety of equines that are used for the purpose of horse racing.

(2)

(3) Administration and enforcement of all laws, rules, and regulations affecting horse racing and parimutuel wagering.

(3)

(4) Adjudication of controversies arising from the enforcement of those laws and regulations dealing with horse racing and parimutuel wagering.

(4)

(5) Licensing of each racing association and all persons, other than the public at large, who participate in a horse racing meeting with parimutuel wagering.

(5)

(6) Allocation of racing dates to qualified associations in accordance with law.
(b) The board may delegate to stewards appointed pursuant to Article 5 (commencing with Section 19510) any of its powers and duties that are necessary to carry out fully and effectuate the purposes of this chapter.
(c) The board shall convene and oversee a panel of independent veterinarians and stewards to review the medical, training, and racing histories of horses entered to race and be authorized to deem a horse unfit to run.

SEC. 2.

 Section 19481.9 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

19481.9.
 (a) A licensed track operator with an average daily handle of one million five hundred thousand dollars ($1,500,000) or more, other than a fair, shall do all of the following:
(1) Install cameras covering the horse stalls of all entries.
(2) Provide computerized tomography (CT) scanning equipment or a digital scanning equivalent to detect potential horse injuries that shall be available onsite.
(3) Establish an onsite central pharmacy pursuant to Section 19581.5.
(4) Report to the board any sealing or reinforcement of the track that is not considered regular maintenance.
(5) Prohibit training or races at least seven days after any sealing or reinforcement of the track that is not considered regular maintenance or until the board deems the track surface not to pose a danger to the safety of the horses from a hardened impact.
(b) The board may require racetracks to transition to high-quality synthetic surfaces.
(c) A licensed track operator covered by this section that fails to comply with subdivision (a) shall have their licensed revoked.

SEC. 3.

 Section 19577 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

19577.
 (a) (1) Any blood or urine test sample required by the board to be taken from a horse that is entered in any race shall be divided or taken in duplicate, if there is sufficient sample available after the initial test sample has been taken. The initial test sample shall be referred to as the official test sample and the secondary sample shall be referred to as the split sample. All samples immediately become and remain the property of the board. The board shall adopt regulations to ensure the security of obtaining and testing of all samples.
(2) Paragraph (1) does not apply to total carbon dioxide testing. The board shall adopt emergency regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) to establish policies, guidelines, and procedures that include a split sample process related to total carbon dioxide testing. These regulations shall be deemed to be an emergency and necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health health, and safety, or general welfare. The emergency regulations shall be submitted to the Office of Administrative Law for filing with the Secretary of State and publication in the California Code of Regulations, and shall be replaced by final, permanent regulations within 120 days of their adoption.
(b) If the official test sample is found to contain a prohibited drug substance, the executive director, after consulting with and agreeing with the equine medical director that the official test sample contains a prohibited substance, shall confidentially inform the owner and trainer of those results. The owner or the trainer of the horse, upon being so informed, may request that the split sample be tested by an independent laboratory selected from a list of laboratories provided by and approved by the board. The owner or trainer of the horse shall pay the cost of testing the split sample.
(c) If the split sample test results fail to confirm the finding of the prohibited drug substance found in the official test sample, a presumption affecting the burden of producing evidence pursuant to Section 603 of the Evidence Code of no evidentiary prohibited drug substance in the animal shall exist for purposes of this chapter.
(d) The executive director shall report to the board and make publicly available, by at least posting on its internet website, a finding and the results of a prohibited drug substance in an official test sample within 24 hours of the confirmation of that prohibited drug substance in the split sample by the independent laboratory, or within 24 hours of waiver of split sample testing by the owner or trainer. Any recommendation to the board by the executive director to dismiss the matter shall be by mutual agreement with the equine medical director. The authority for the disposition of the matter shall be the responsibility of the board.
(e) The executive director shall maintain responsibility for all test samples until the executive director refers the matter to the board. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and except as provided in subdivision (a), the results of the tests from the official testing laboratory, the Kenneth L. Maddy Equine Analytical Chemistry Laboratory and the independent laboratory shall be confidential until or unless the board files an official complaint.
(f) If the owner or trainer does not request that the split sample be tested within the time limits set by the board, the owner and trainer waive all rights to that sample and the board assumes all jurisdiction over the split sample.
(g) The board shall contract with the Regents of the University of California to be the primary drug testing laboratory performing the equine drug testing required by this section.

SEC. 4.

 The heading of Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 19580) of Chapter 4 of Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:
Article  8.5. Equine Medication Medication, Welfare, and Safety

SEC. 5.

 Section 19580 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

19580.
 (a) The board shall adopt regulations to establish policies, guidelines, and penalties relating to equine medication medication, welfare, and safety in order to preserve and enhance the integrity of horse racing in the state. Those policies, guidelines, and penalties shall include, at a minimum, the provisions set forth in this article.
(b) The board shall adopt regulations on the authorized use of minerals, vitamins, or other supplements and shall only authorize uses that are in the best interest of the welfare and safety of the horse.

(b)

(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that the board, in its testing efforts to determine the illegal or excessive use of medications or substances, recognize the greater importance of conducting complete and thorough testing of a lesser number of samples in preference to conducting less thorough testing on a greater number of samples.

SEC. 6.

 Section 19581 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

19581.
 No substance (a) Medications and substances of any kind shall not be administered by any means to a horse after it has been entered to race in a horse race, unless the board has, by regulation, specifically authorized the use of the medication or substance and the its quantity and composition thereof. The board may require that the official veterinarian approve, in writing, the administration of those substances in accordance with the regulations of the board. composition. Any medication or medication, equipment used to dispense medication medication, or other authorized substance that is located within the inclosure is subject to search and inspection at the request of any board official.
(b) Medications shall not be administered to a horse that is engaged in racing activities, including training related to competing in parimutuel racing, unless it is to treat a specific medical condition diagnosed within the context of a valid veterinarian-client patient relationship. A valid veterinarian-client patient relationship shall include, but is not limited to, all of the following:
(1) The veterinarian has accepted responsibility for making medical judgments about the health of the horse.
(2) The veterinarian has sufficient knowledge of the horse to make a preliminary diagnosis of the medical condition of the horse.
(3) The veterinarian has performed an examination of the horse and is knowledgeable of the medical records of the horse.
(4) The veterinarian is available to evaluate and oversee treatment outcomes or has made appropriate arrangements for continuing care and treatment.
(5) The medical judgments of the veterinarian are independent and are not dictated by the trainer or owner of the horse.
(c) The trainer of the horse is responsible for ensuring compliance with this section.

SEC. 7.

 Section 19581.5 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

19581.5.
 For licensed track operators with an average daily handle of one million five hundred thousand dollars ($1,500,000) or more, all medications administered at racetracks shall be dispensed through an onsite central pharmacy. All medications dispensed onsite shall be limited to the least amount needed for the horse while staying at the racetrack. The board shall adopt regulations to require that the onsite central pharmacy has complete electronic recordkeeping to facilitate monitoring of veterinarian treatment and medications. Private veterinarians shall not be allowed to bring medications to the track not dispensed at the onsite central pharmacy.

SEC. 8.

 Section 19581.7 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

19581.7.
 (a) The board shall adopt regulations to ensure that trainers are educated and encouraged to provide horses with sufficient time to recuperate from normal exercise-induced microdamage to the horse’s bones and injuries.
(b) An owner shall not order horses to be entered in races if a veterinarian has recommended against it for the welfare and safety of the horse. A veterinarian shall report owners who violate this requirement to the board.
(c) The board shall administer all auctions of thoroughbreds two years of age and younger. Thoroughbreds offered for sale at board-administered auctions shall not be medicated and shall not be forced to run timed sprints.

SEC. 9.

 Section 19582 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

19582.
 (a) (1) Violations of Section 19581, as determined by the board, are punishable as set forth in regulations adopted by the board.
(2) The board may classify violations of Section 19581 based upon each class of prohibited drug substances, prior violations within the previous three years, and prior violations within the violator’s lifetime.
(3) (A) The board may provide for the suspension of a license for not more than three years, except as provided in subdivision (b), or a monetary penalty of not more than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), or both, and disqualification from purses, for a violation of Section 19581.
(B) The actual amount of the monetary penalty imposed pursuant to this paragraph shall be determined only after due consideration has been given to all the facts, circumstances, acts, and intent of the licensee, and shall not be solely based on the trainer-insurer rule, as established in Sections 1843 and 1887 of Title 4 of the California Code of Regulations.
(4) The punishment for second and subsequent violations of Section 19581 shall be greater than the punishment for a first violation of Section 19581 with respect to each class of prohibited drug substances, unless the administrative law judge, in findings of fact and conclusions of law filed with the board, concludes that a deviation from this general rule is justified.
(b) (1) A third violation of Section 19581 during the lifetime of the licensee, determined by the board to be at a class I or class II level, may result in the permanent revocation of the person’s license.
(2) The administrative law judge shall, after consideration of the circumstances surrounding a violation specified in paragraph (1), file a decision with the board that includes findings of fact and conclusions of law.
(c) A trainer with more than three violations of the medication requirements described in Section 19581 or medication rules or regulations of any other state shall have their California trainer’s license suspended or revoked. The board may suspend a trainer’s license during the time period of any administrative action.
(d) The board shall suspend a trainer’s license following the death of a horse during racing or training, pending investigation by the board.

(c)

(e) Any person whose license is suspended or revoked pursuant to this section shall not be entitled to receive any material benefit or remuneration in any capacity or from any business activity permitted or allowed by the license during any period of its suspension or revocation.

(d)

(f) The penalties provided by this section are in addition to any other civil, criminal, and administrative penalties or sanctions provided by law, and do not supplant, but are cumulative to, other penalties or sanctions.
(g) All penalty revenues under this section shall be directed to horse welfare and safety measures and the board shall publicly disclose those measures on their internet website. Horse welfare and safety measures shall include all of the following:
(1) Contracting for additional state veterinarians.
(2) Adding additional safety stewards.
(3) Improving or adding race track infrastructure to directly improve the safety and welfare of horses and riders.

SEC. 10.

 Section 19584 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

19584.
 (a) All records required by law to be kept by a veterinarian subject to this chapter, including, but not limited to, records pertaining to the diagnosis and treatment of race horses and records pertaining to drugs or devices for use on race horses, shall be open to inspection by the board, or its authorized representatives, during an inspection as part of a regular inspection program by the board, or during an investigation initiated in response to a complaint that a licensee or contractee has violated any law or regulation that constitutes grounds for disciplinary action by the board. A copy of all those records shall be provided to the board immediately upon request.
(b) Equipment and drugs on the premises, or in any other place, where veterinary medicine, dentistry, surgery, or the various branches thereof is being practiced with respect to race horses, or otherwise in the possession of a veterinarian for purposes of that practice, shall be open to inspection by the board, or its authorized representatives, during an inspection as part of a regular inspection program by the board, or during an investigation initiated in response to a complaint that a licensee or contractee has violated any law or regulation that constitutes grounds for disciplinary action by the board.
(c) The veterinary records and the equipment and drugs as described in subdivisions (a) and (b) shall be open to inspection by the owner of the race horse, a licensed board or track veterinarian authorized to inspect those records, equipment, or drugs by the board, the currently licensed trainer of the race horse, or the race horse’s jockey.
(d) The inspection of the records, equipment, or drugs under this section by the board, its authorized representatives, or any person authorized pursuant to subdivision (c), and the information obtained thereby, shall not be transferred to, discussed, or shared with any unauthorized person or entity.

SEC. 11.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.