The International Horse Federation (FEI) has proposed a list of prohibited substances not to be used in horses during and between competitions in 2011.
Following last month’s highly successful FEI
Congress on Nonsteroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID
s) and further discussion of the issues raised, the FEI List Group has proposed an Equine Prohibited Substances List for 2011 which simultaneously respects horse welfare and ensures a level playing field.
During its discussions, the List Group 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 harmonise 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.
It also provides insufficient evidence for allowing levels in competition that are not a potential threat to horse welfare or enhance performance.
Level playing field
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 and Flunixin, in low dosages between competitions for the well-being of the horse.
This would be allowed 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.
It was also agreed that there must always be a balance between required rest and medication, ensuring that there is a good approach to management and training, rather than relying on medication to affect a recovery.
The FEI Executive Board has reviewed the issues involved and will recommend the adoption of the List Group’s proposed 2011 Equine Prohibited Substances List to the General Assembly and the Bureau.
Such an approach would also have the benefit of being compatible with certain national laws that may have restricted a different approach.
Voting in November
The National Federations have now received the statistical data necessary to make a fully-informed choice on whether to accept or reject the proposed 2011 Equine Prohibited Substances List when it is put to the vote at the FEI General Assembly in November.
If the 2011 List is not approved, the 2010 List presently in effect would remain in use for another year.
National Federations were informed of the List Group proposal through the NF Liaison Office at FEI Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland.