The American Association of Equine Practitioners is expressing concern regarding “very broad language” in federal legislation geared toward prohibiting use of performance-enhancing drugs in racehorses.
The legislation, introduced in Congress May 4, apparently doesn’t differentiate between legal therapeutic medications and illegal drugs.
The legislation deals with “any substance capable of affecting the performance of a horse at any time by acting on the nervous system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, digestive system, urinary system, reproductive system, musculoskeletal system, blood system, immune system—other than licensed vaccines against infectious diseases—or endocrine system” of a racehorse.
Industry officials already have expressed concern over the way the bill reads. If any race-day detection is considered illegal, therapeutic medications legally given to racehorses days before a race could results in serious penalties and ultimately bans from the sport.
“As doctors of veterinary medicine, our primary focus when evaluating the proposed Interstate Horse Racing Improvement Act is its effect on the health and safety of the racehorse,” AAEP president Dr. William Moyer