Therapeutic Medications in Racehorses - Final Summary

​The few AVMA members who provided feedback on the AAEP's recently updated (2009) policy on Therapeutic Medications in Racehorses were equally divided as to whether endorsement by the AVMA was appropriate. Those supportive found the AAEP's policy appropriate and expressed concern that AVMA's failure to endorse might be interpreted as being supportive of illicit use of performance-enhancing drugs by the racing industry. Members opposing endorsement expressed concerns about possible future disagreements with the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium, perceptions of AVMA being aligned too closely with the industry, and impacts on the welfare of racing horses (e.g., continuing to choose bleeders as racers and breeding affected stock). The Animal Welfare Committee (AWC) considered its members' input and also carefully reviewed the AAEP's revised policy, ultimately recommending endorsement to the AVMA Executive Board. The Executive Board approved endorsement of the policy during its November 2010 meeting.