The Humans Society of the United States (HSUS) has established a new advisory council designed to promote higher welfare standards for the horse racing industry.

Introduced by the agency on June 23, the HSUS National Horse Racing Advisory Council is comprised of industry professionals and specialists including chairman Joe DeFrancis, former chief executive officer and controlling shareholder of the Maryland Jockey Club and a horse welfare advocate, and members Jim Gagliano (president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club), Stacie Clark-Rogers (operations consultant for the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance), Joe Gorajec (horse racing consultant and former executive director for the Indiana Horse Racing Commission), Staci Hancock (Thoroughbred breeder and founding member of the Water Hay Oates Alliance, which advocates for a federal ban on drug use in horse racing), and Chris McCarron (Hall of Fame jockey).

Marty Irby, HSUS senior director of rural outreach and equine protection, said the council is charged with improving communication between the racing industry and the equine welfare community at large, determining what issue poses the highest welfare risk to racehorses, advocating for federal anti-doping legislation, and ending the sale of retired racehorses to slaughter. The council also hopes to boost the success of horse racing venues by promoting transparency between the public and the racing industry, Irby said.

“Americans are not going to tolerate abuse of animals used in entertainment,” Irby said. “But they want to see horses race and we want to see horses race.”

Irby said the council’s introduc