Thoroughbred industry leaders, angered that new medication rules set to take effect next month were blocked Monday by Kentucky lawmakers, are firing back.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and The Jockey Club issued a joint statement late Tuesday saying the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and racetrack veterinarians "are attempting to hold hostage new Kentucky race rules designed to promote the health, welfare and safety of the Thoroughbred racehorse."
On Monday, the Kentucky Interim Committee of Licensing and Occupations ruled "deficient" regulations that would have eliminated the use of non-FDA approved "adjunct" anti-bleeder medications, reduced the allowable level of the painkiller Bute, and mandated that all furosemide (the anti-bleeder medication known as Lasix or Salix) be given only by regulatory vets.
Opponents have said that Monday's committee vote signals that a limited ban on Lasix approved earlier this year by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission will face similar trouble. That regulation has not come before the committee yet.
The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and The Jockey Club, in its statement, accused the Kentucky Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and vets of being fearful of any changes in the use of race-day Lasix.