New Drug Use Rules for 2011 Proposed by FEI

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FEI logoLAUSANNE, Switzerland, Aug. 6–New drug rules that include allowing the use of ‘bute and banamine between competitions have been proposed by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) to be introduced next year if approved by the General Assembly in November.

A new Equine Prohibited Substances List was drawn up by a List Group following last month’s FEI Congress on Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs. The congress came about after sharp divisions at the 2009 General Assembly that included complaints over the process of considering changes to the current policy of zero tolerance.

The FEI Executive Board will recommend the proposal.

The List Group, the FEI said, “made a distinction between the use of NSAIDs during competition, and their use between competitions.

“With the exception of Salicylic Acid (aspirin), for which it is proposed to raise the current threshold to harmonize it with that of other international regulators, the List Group has unanimously concluded that the science available from the few limited studies carried out to date on the use of NSAIDs is contradictory and provides insufficient evidence for allowing levels in competition that are not a potential threat to horse welfare or enhance performance.

“As a result, the List Group has proposed a list of prohibited substances for 2011 which represents a practical solution that respects horse welfare and ensures a level playing field. This list does not allow NSAIDs in competition, but does allow post-competition usage of certain NSAIDs, specifically Phenylbutazone (bute) and Flunixin (banamine), in low dosages between competitions for the well-being of the horse; but only to the extent that the medications will neither be detectable nor affect the performance or welfare of the horse at its next competition.

“Each of the substances named on the proposed Equine Prohibited Substances List for implementation in 2011, was agreed unanimously by the List Group members.”

The FEI said its Executive Board will recommend the adoption of the proposed list .

If the 2011 List is not approved, the 2010 List presently in effect would remain in use for another year.