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New Equine Drug Testing and Therapeutic Medication Book

March 19, 2012 05:27:46 PM
Category: Handicapping & Betting

Equine Drug Testing and Therapeutic Medication Regulation book released

The fourth edition of “World Rules for Equine Drug Testing and Therapeutic Medication Regulation: 2012 Policy of the National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Inc.” was released on Feb. 14 by Wind Publications. Authors of the 286-page book are Thomas Tobin, MVB, MSc, PhD, MRCVS, DABT, professor at the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Research Center, Kimberly Brewer, DVM, a private practitioner, and Kent Stirling, executive director of the Florida Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.

The newly released fourth edition covers medication rules around the world for the first time and features a forward written by Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear.

In 2001, Ted Bassett, then president of the Keeneland Association, suggested to the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) for them to develop a proposed national medication policy. This policy was duly developed and the first iteration was communicated in 2001. Since then, this HBPA proposed medication policy has been expanded several times. The second edition was published in 2003 as a 20-page supplement by the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science. The 2009 edition, too big and expensive for a scientific journal, was published as a 160-page book.

The 2012 edition of the book first addresses the myth of "zero tolerance" and presents the compelling scientific reasons for regulatory thresholds for therapeutic medications. The book then addresses the specific regulatory procedures in place around the world to regulate the use of therapeutic medications, endogenous, dietary, and environmental substances in racing and performance horses. The book is based on the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) classification system for foreign substances and lists as many as possible of the specific regulatory thresholds/withdrawal time guidelines in place for the approximately 99 such substances, acepromazine to xylazine, in use around the world.

Some widely used therapeutic medications are associated with an unusually high risk of inadvertent identifications or overages; where appropriate, each of these substances is marked with a HORSEMEN'S ALERT, which sets forth the reasons for the alert and suggests avoidance actions. Additionally, and somewhat unusually, three substances are listed as CHEMIST'S ALERTS, and the rationale for setting forth the chemists alert is provided. 

Regulatory thresholds are defined as plasma or urinary concentration of drugs/drug metabolites and are the essential regulatory tools. What the horseperson needs, however, are withdrawal time guidelines, simple unambiguous medication administration guidelines scientifically linked to the regulatory threshold and which serve to greatly reduce the probability of a therapeutic medication “overage.” Appendix 1 of the book reviews the critically important matter of withdrawal time guidelines and the factors influencing withdrawal time guidelines are presented in some detail.

The language of equine forensic science is that of science and law, and much of it is unfamiliar to horsepersons. Appendix 2, therefore, presents the language, definitions, and abbreviations used in equine forensic science. Appendix 3 lists the equine therapeutic medications identified by the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAE P) and by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium; it is noted the therapeutic medication status of some of these substances is under review. Appendix 4 sets forth the need for suitable reference standards for therapeutic medication regulation and outlines National and local HBPAs contributions in this critically important area of forensic science. Appendix 5 lists the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Associations that have supported these research efforts, and the book closes with Appendix 6, a list of scientific references.

The book can be purchased on Amazon at: .

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