Horseandhound.co.uk - Full Article
Abigail Butcher, H&H head of news
25 November, 2009
Leading equine vets in Britain have slammed a decision to allow horses to compete on painkillers. They say using bute on a competition horse could lead to "catastrophic injuries".
The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) says the International Equestrian Federation's (FEI) decision to allow six medications in competition is an "extremely retrograde step for horse welfare".
"This decision obscures the distinction between therapy and subjecting unsound horses to the stresses of competition," said a statement from the group of leading horse vets.
"Furthermore, we have grave concerns that horses competing while under treatment with pain-relieving medicines, are at an increased risk of musculo-skeletal lesions progressing to catastrophic injuries."
As part of its so-called "clean sport programme" the FEI decided last week to allow six substances — many of which are painkilling — to be used during competition.
Before that, the FEI has always had a "zero tolerance" policy on drugs in sport, and the about-turn caused outrage.
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