Statement on Jason Servis' Guilty Plea in International Horse Doping Case

Thundering hooves of racing horses on turf track.
Thundering hooves of racing horses on turf track. Mark Higgins

Newsdate: Friday December 16, 2022, 10:00 am
Location: WASHINGTON, D.C.

Animal Wellness Action executive director Marty Irby, released the following statement in response to Jason Servis’ guilty plea in one of the biggest doping cases in American horse racing history: 

Horses racing at Santa Anita Racetrack.

Horses racing at Santa Anita Racetrack

Animal Wellness Action's mission is helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty and championing causes that alleviate the suffering of animals.
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"Jason Servis' actions and abuse of our iconic American equines has been the worst disgrace American horse racing has ever seen,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action. “We applaud The Jockey Club, president Jim Gagliano, chairman Stuart Janney and everyone at the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney's office who worked diligently for years to bring down this kingpin of organized crime and abuse."

Animal Wellness Action has led the charge in the animal protection space to eradicate doping in American horse racing and Irby testified in support of anti-doping legislation before Congress in January 2020 just weeks before Servis' indictment. That legislation, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, was enacted and signed into law in December of 2020 and took effect in July of this year.

Unfortunately, in recent months, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act has been successfully challenged in the courts, but AWA and others in the Coalition for Horseracing Integrity continue to work to help upend the court decision and ensure the proper implementation and enforcement of the new law.

Animal Wellness Action is a Washington, D.C.-based 501(c)(4) organization with a mission of helping animals by promoting legal standards forbidding cruelty. We champion causes that alleviate the suffering of companion animals, farm animals, and wildlife.

We advocate for policies to stop dogfighting and cockfighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to confront factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we promote enacting good public policies and we work to enforce those policies.

To enact good laws, we must elect good lawmakers, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our issues and which ones don’t. We believe helping animals helps us all.

Press release by Marty Irby

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