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CBA Issues Statement on Bisphosphonates

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The Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association (CBA) has called the off-label usage of bisphosphonates in horses under four years of age `unacceptable’ in a statement issued Saturday morning.

The statement read: “The Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association (CBA) and its members are first and foremost concerned about equine health. The recent tragedies in California have led to a full examination of how our industry cares for horses from the moment a foal hits the ground all the way up until an injury occurs. Conclusions have been made that the use of bisphosphonates in horses younger than 4 years old has led to unintended and dangerous side effects that weaken our equine athletes. While it is believed that the rate of usage in foals and yearlings has been limited, the CBA believes any “off label” use of bisphosphonates in young horses is unacceptable.”

According to a report by Dan Ross in Friday’s TDN, in 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of two bisphosphonates-Tiludronate (Tildren) and Clodronate (Osphos)-in horses four and older to help control the symptoms associated with navicular syndrome. But many in the industry are concerned about the off-label use of these drugs, especially in young horses, including those being prepared for the sales. That’s because, rather than strengthening bones as intended, misuse of these drugs could make them weaker, more susceptible to fractures.

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