The United States Trotting Association has released an open letter to the harness racing industry following Sunday's announcement that its Board of Directors voted to keep freeze brands as an optional form of horse identification in addition to mandatory microchipping.
The letter appears below in its entirety.
Dear USTA Members, Friends, and Fellow Horse Lovers,
The USTA Board of Directors hears you, values you, and appreciates your concern regarding freeze branding.
This past weekend, the board voted to maintain microchipping as the primary means of identification in compliance with state mandates. Microchips are supported by fast-growing technology that serve our horses better as time goes on. We, along with Standardbred Canada, are offering freeze branding in addition to microchipping to all horse owners, making North American Standardbreds the only major breed subdivision to do so.
We value your feedback.
Please take the time to research the current and future technology that microchipping adds to our breed.
If you are a current owner of an unbranded Standardbred and wish to obtain a freeze brand, let us know. You can still get a freeze brand, and spread the word to other owners.
We will continue to monitor this situation and have asked the USTA staff to keep us actively informed regarding the number of freeze brand applications.
The USTA Board of Directors
(With files from USTA)