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Letter from the President: Do You Support Medication Reform?

May 14, 2012

The New York State Racing and Wagering Board invited members of the racing industry to offer “effective and practical steps for regulators to take to improve the safety and issues caused by drug administration to racehorses” during the 14-day comment period on proposed rulemaking that opened Apr. 30. The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, in full support of medication reform, has a plan designed to address safety and integrity issues currently faced by racing.

The five-point proposal, which was presented to NYSRWB last month, includes:
                1) A threshold of 2mcg of Bute (phenylbutazone) in post-race testing for all runners, not just graded stakes horses. Currently, the New York State Racing and Wagering Board rule mandates a 48-hour withdrawal for Bute for all horses.
                2) No “Adjunct” raceday medication allowed.  “Adjunct” medications are used in some jurisdictions to prevent exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhage. They are not allowed in New York.
                3) A 15-day withdrawal for Depo-Medrol (methylprednisolone acetate). Four-day withdrawal for other corticosteroids.
                4) A 7-day withdrawal for clenbuterol. The current withdrawal period in New York is four days.
                5) Third-party administrators for raceday Lasix. Lasix will be administered by veterinarians hired by either the racetrack or the state. That is the current NYRA policy, but would become NYSRWB regulation.
NYTHA is not looking to maintain the status quo. We urge the NYSRWB to take a leadership role for our industry and adopt the proposals outlined above. We have drafted a letter to NYSRWB Chairman John Sabini, restating our support of this five-point plan. We are asking members of the industry who support this achievable and meaningful medication reform to click on the link below, read the letter, fill in their information, and send it on to the NYSRWB during the comment period.

The deadline for responding is the close of business TODAY, Monday, May 14.

We thank you for your support.
NYTHA President Rick Violette Jr.

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