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Immediate Industry Response To Drug

Thursday, 30th August 2012

There has been a swift US industry response to yesterday's reported "ambush" by the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association over new drug regulations due to take effect on September 4. Dan Metzger (President, Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders Association) & Jim Gagliano (President & Chief Operating Officer, The Jockey Club) issued the following open letter: "On behalf of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and The Jockey Club, we found it disappointing that individual members of the Kentucky HBPA and racetrack veterinarians, fearful of any changes in the use of the race-day drug Lasix, are attempting to hold hostage new Kentucky racing rules designed to promote the health, welfare and safety of the Thoroughbred racehorse. We refer to Monday's decision by the Kentucky Interim Committee of License and Occupations to reject regulations designed to: (1) eliminate the use of non-FDA approved adjunct bleeder medications, (2) reduce the allowable use of the painkiller Bute, and (3) mandate that Lasix be only administered by regulatory veterinarians. All of these changes have been approved by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium to improve the health and safety of the horse and the integrity of the sport. The RMTC represents 25 industry stakeholders including veterinarians, regulatory agencies, and horsemen associations. In addition to Thoroughbred interests, the RMTC has representatives from American Quarter Horse, Standardbred, and Arabian racing. Some or all of the regulations are already on the books in many other states and had been supported by a wide spectrum of the industry, including those in most major racing states. As other states move forward with regulatory reform to improve the safety and integrity of the sport, it is troubling to see elements of racing in Kentucky act in a manner that is so inconsistent with its stated objectives to support clean and safe horseracing. We support the regulatory amendments proposed and approved by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. We urge the members of the political committee(s) responsible for yesterday's decisions to reconsider and approve the proposed amendments to regulations as designed to protect the racehorse."

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