Three regulatory veterinarians said Jan. 12 they support recent action by the Association of Racing Commissioners International to adopt a model rule on compounded drugs used in horse racing.

The letter of support was signed by Mary Scollay-Ward, DVM, equine medical director for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission; Rick Arthur, DVM, equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board; and Lynn Hovda, MS, DVM, chief veterinarian for the Minnesota Racing Commission.

"The intent of the proposed model rule is to provide racing commissions with the authority to act, rather than their relying on other relevant federal or state agencies for enforcement," the veterinarians’ letter states. "If the language appears imprecise to some veterinarians, it is because federal or state law and regulations lack specificity. We recommended racing commissions duplicate those agencies’ regulations rather than draft their own regulations that could potentially overreach state and federal laws.

"Historically, the Federal Drug Administration, Drug Enforcement Agency, and other federal and state agencies have been reluctant or unable to respond to complaints from racing regulatory agencies," the letter continues. "This has resulted in a significant regulatory void that has been exploited by individuals or companies producing illegally compounded substances or illegal new animal drugs. In our opinion this has jeopardized the safety of horses, jockeys, and drivers, not to mention the integrity of the competition.

"Absent pari-mutuel regulations that address illegally compounded medications, racing commissions h