12/12/2002 12:00AM

NTRA backs slaughter ban

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The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's board of directors passed a recommendation to ban the slaughter of Thoroughbred horses during a Thursday meeting at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Ariz., NTRA officials said.

The resolution amounts to support for federal legislation to be drafted next year that would ban the practice, according to Tim Smith, commissioner of the NTRA.

Horse meat is prized as food in some countries, and the majority of horse meat is imported out of the United States, racing officials have said.

Also at the meeting, the NTRA approved a $57.6 million budget for 2003. The budget also includes an additional expenditure of $3 to $4 million for the "activities in connection with the wagering technology task force" formed by the NTRA in response to the Breeders' Cup pick six scandal, Smith said.

The NTRA has put up $1 million toward the special expenditure, Smith said, and has received commitments from racetracks and other industry groups of approximately $2 million.