Friday, November 19, 2010

FEI General Assembly: NSAID Use Definitively Prohibited - Full Article

by: Christa Lesté-Lasserre
November 16 2010, Article # 17260

The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in international equestrian competition is definitively prohibited, following a unanimous vote by the members of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the governing body for international equestrian sports, during their General Assembly meeting Nov. 1-5 in Chinese Taipei.

However, the FEI has agreed to pursue efforts to provide national federations with data indicating the exact amount of time low doses of common NSAIDs--including phenylbutazone (Bute) and flunixin meglumine (Banamine)--are detectable in a horse's blood or urine. This information would allow team veterinarians and riders to accurately time the administration of NSAIDs for therapeutic purposes between events, according to John McEwen, BVMS, MRCVS, team veterinarian for the British Equestrian Federation, FEI Veterinary Committee chair, and chair of the FEI List Group, which developed the now-approved proposal in September.

The decision follows an intensive two-day congress on NSAIDs use in equestrian events, hosted by the FEI in August in Lausanne, Switzerland. At the event, more than 200 international participants convened to discuss and debate the latest research, theories, laws, politics, and public opinion concerning NSAIDs use in horses.

The General Assembly's vote officially defuses the spark of the previously proposed "Progressive List" from November 2009, in which proponents--primarily FEI members from North America--urged the FEI to consider tolerating the presence of certain NSAIDs in horses during drug testing at international competitions...

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