Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Uproar at FEI proposal to allow horses to compete on bute - Full Article

Abigail Butcher, H&H head of news, in Denmark
18 November, 2009

Should riders be allowed to compete on horses that have been given a small amount of bute?

That has been the subject of heated discussion this afternoon at a meeting of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The liveliest debate during a meeting to unveil the FEI's completed work on "clean sport" centered on the proposal for a complete policy shift to allow horses to compete on low levels of painkillers.

A new list of banned substances and controlled medication is the lynchpin of plans unveiled this afternoon in advance of voting during tomorrow's general assembly.

But there are two lists. The first - "current list" - continues with the FEI's zero-tolerance policy. The second "progressive list" would allow low levels of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) within horse sport around the world.

"If the FEI accepts this, there will be uproar in many countries," warned Bo Helander of Sweden. "It's completely unacceptable for horse welfare, and changes the whole philosophy of the FEI."

Tomorrow the nearly 100 national federations assembled in Copenhagen will vote on whether phenylbutazone (bute), flunixin and salcyclic acid (aspirin) should be allowed.


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