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New US Drug Rules Labelled 'Deficient' By Subcommitee
In what was considered a "surprise vote", a Kentucky legislative subcommittee has "found regulations governing equine medication 'deficient'… just one week before they are scheduled to take effect", reports bloodhorse.com. "The regulations call for regulatory administration of furosemide on race day, a ban on adjunct bleeder medications, and a reduction in the amount phenylbutazone that can be administered to a horse 24 hours before a race. The regulations are in line with national model rules approved by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and the Association of Racing Commissioners International. The regulations are supposed to take effect Sept. 4, in time for the Turfway Park meet that begins Sept. 6." Despite the "new drug rules" not being tabled for discussion at the meeting of the "bipartisan Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupations" on August 27, it is suggested "the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association over the weekend lobbied lawmakers to call the regulations for a vote. All but one of the 20 legislators present for the meeting voted to find the regulations deficient." Republican Senator Damon Thayer, also a member of the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council, cast the lone 'no vote' and commented: "I spoke out against finding it deficien … The HBPA ambushed the racing commission, and I felt blindsided, too. This wasn't on the agenda… This process (on the regulations) has been going on for a year and a half, and there has been full transparency. It's a national model rule that has been adopted by other states, so I question the motivation of the HBPA." Meanwhile, "in a statement to the Louisville Courier-Journal" Kentucky HBPA President Rick Hiles posed: "The action by the interim joint committee could spell trouble for the proposed Salix ban... I don't think they're going to get it to go anywhere… If we got this stopped today, the (Salix) ban is probably dead." Watch this space!