The American Association of Equine Practitioners has introduced a multi-part initiative to protect the health and welfare of the racehorse and help ensure the long-term viability of the racing industry in the United States. The central component of the AAEP's Prescription for Racing Reform is the association's commitment to identifying non-race day treatment alternatives for exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH).
The AAEP Racing Committee developed the Prescription for Racing Reform, a 10-point plan designed to both protect the health of racing's equine athletes and strengthen the integrity of the sport.
Key points of the initiative include:
•Investigating efficacious management strategies for exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage that do not require race-day medication administration.
The AAEP will pursue alternative treatments for EIPH by:
1. Facilitating a meeting of scientists, including experts in the fields of equine EIPH, pulmonary function and human sports medicine, with the stated goal of identifying research priorities which may yield effective alternatives to current EIPH treatment protocols.
2. Pursuing funding for identified research projects.
•Banning the use of anabolic steroids in racehorses in training.
•Restricting administration of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to 48 hours before racing instead of 24 hours.
Other points of the plan address compounded medication, veterinary list reciprocity and stiff sanctions for rules violators. The complete 10-Point Prescription for Racing Reform can be viewed here.
“Our desire to investigate non-race day treatment alternatives for EIPH serves both the horse and the industry and we are committed to developing a strategy that goes beyond the simple cessation of race-day medication,” said Kent Carter, DVM, 2015 AAEP president. “As doctors of veterinary medicine, we want to contribute to the success of the racing industry but must remain committed to protecting the health and welfare of the horse as our foremost priority.”