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ARB Introduces New Integrity Measure
The Australian Racing Board (ARB) has introduced a new rule prohibiting the stomach-tubing of horses on race-day or during one 'Clear Day' prior to race-day. The term one 'Clear Day' is defined as the 24-hour period from 12.01am to 12 midnight. Therefore, a horse engaged on a Saturday cannot be stomach-tubed (or any application of a naso-gastric tube) from 12.01am on the Thursday night. "At present a horse can be tubed up to 24 hours before its race which can create a grey area and an element of uncertainty," explained ARB Chief Executive Peter McGauran. "The ARB believes it is in the interests of all concerned for there to be a definite and enforceable cut off time." Mr McGauran added that veterinary advice obtained by the ARB was that there was no clinical or welfare reason to tube a horse the day before race-day. Furthermore, he noted that vets believed that Australia had developed a culture of over reliance of tubing which is contrary to world's best practice.