For Immediate Release       

                                                             

Lexington, KY (February 3, 2020)---The North American Association of Racetrack Veterinarians, the only trade organization that is comprised solely of the veterinarians charged with the health and welfare of the equine racing athlete strongly opposes HR 1754 and its companion Senate Bill 1820, which seek to establish a central bureaucracy for medication control in horse racing.  Our opposition is based on:

  • The bill’s elimination of raceday furosemide, or Lasix.  This administration is solely for the benefit of the health and welfare of the athlete. The safe, effective, highly regulated and transparent use of Lasix is supported by scientific and medical evidence.
     

  • Equating human testing with horse testing. The horse racing industry tests over 250,000 samples per annum, as compared with USADA’s oversight of 11,000 human athletes.  Horse racing drug laboratories test for more substances at lower concentrations than in human sports, with a violation rate less than half that observed in human sports.  Of the 0.6% of violations in horse racing, over 90% are trace levels of therapeutic medications, and not performance enhancing drugs.  USADA has NO experience in equine testing or regulation, which includes the equine athletes at the Olympics.
     

  • Inadequate veterinary medical representation. The governing body (the “Authority”) would have only one veterinarian in its makeup, and such a veterinarian may be either a practitioner or regulator.  Practitioners hold the expertise in equine veterinary practice with regard to race horses. They are integral to the health and well-being of the equine athlete and cannot be marginalized.

 

  • Standardized thresholds must be based on experimental and clinical evidence gathered and presented transparently with appropriate peer review. Failure in this area creates danger for horses, horsemen, and veterinarians alike.

 

  • No recognition that medication rules are appropriately separate for different sports. This bill unfairly combines no less than 4 different sports and multiple breeds that are inherently distinct.

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