AAEP Issues Statement on Horseracing Integrity Act

The organization opposes the current legislation because it would eliminate the use of race-day furosemide.
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R. Reynolds Cowles, DVM, president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), has issued a statement indicating that the organization opposes the recently introduced Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017 (HR 2651).

Introduced in late May by Representatives Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY), the bill would create a new Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Authority and uniform racing medication rules. The pair had previously introduced similar legislation that only applied to Thoroughbred racing. The new version legislation would apply to Quarter Horse and Standardbred races, as well as Thoroughbred competitions, and prohibit the use of any substance within 24 hours of a race, including furosemide. Furosemide (also known as Salix or Lasix) is used to lessen the effects of a respiratory condition called exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH), characterized by bleeding into the lungs or out the nose during exercise.

Cowles said in his statement that while the AAEP supports uniform medication rules in U.S. horse racing, it opposes the newest version of the legislation association opposes the newest version of the legislation.

“The AAEP’s current policy on race-day medication administration endorses the use of furosemide to help mitigate the occurrence of EIPH in the racehorse,” he said. “This policy is based on the overwhelming body of international scientific and clinical evidence

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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