Protecting the Integrity & Reputation of Irish Horseracing

Guidelines regarding the responsible use of veterinary medicines

Guidelines regarding the responsible use of veterinary medicines

The Turf Club today published guidelines to trainers regarding the responsible use of veterinary medicines.  The guidelines have been published following a number of recent prohibited substance cases which could have been avoided if the trainers concerned had exercised greater controls in the administration of veterinary medicines.  The main purpose of the guidelines is to reduce the occurrence of inadvertent raceday positives arising from the presence of prohibited substances in blood/urine and to emphasise the importance of having rigid controls in place to ensure that this occurs.

Commenting on the publication of the guidelines, the Turf Club Chief Executive, Denis Egan said that “the majority of prohibited substance findings are avoidable if there are proper controls in place in a trainer’s yard dealing with the administration of veterinary medicines.  Following the recent high profile cases we have decided to issue guidelines to assist trainers and to make them more aware of how they can significantly reduce the likelihood of a positive test on one of their horses.”

Guidelines for Trainers regarding the Responsible Use of Veterinary Medicines

1) In order to reduce the occurrence of inadvertent race day positives arising from the presence of prohibited substances in blood and urine, the Turf Club wishes to draw the attention of trainers and stable personnel to the following general guidelines.

 In addition, the Turf Club wishes to point out, that familiarity with the guidelines as set out hereunder, is a condition on which the licence to trainers is issued and renewed.

2) Proper liaison and regular communication with the stable’s veterinary surgeon is essential at all times to ensure correct use of therapeutic medicines. The trainer must ensure that only the appropriate prescribed medicines are used, and that they are withdrawn at the correct time, in the professional judgement and opinion of the veterinary surgeon, prior to racing.

3) All Trainers/Authorised stable personnel should be acquainted with the Rules of Racing as they apply to the definition of “Prohibited Substances”.

4) Trainers should be aware that most of the commonly used, licensed veterinary medicines are in fact prohibited substances if detected in urine on race day.

5) All veterinary medicines should be kept in safe custody, and unavailable, other than to authorised stable personnel, and  in accordance with the requirements of current veterinary medicines legislation.

6) Medicines must not be left carelessly dispersed around stables and loose boxes and subject to free and unsupervised availability.

7) Horses receiving legitimate therapeutic medication, as prescribed by a veterinary surgeon, should not be stabled in close proximity to horses about to run, and similarly, all efforts must be made to avoid cross contamination of medicines, via feed, bedding, urine etc. between medicated and competing horses. Proximity between these animals should be avoided at all times.

8) All Medicines must be clearly labelled.

9) All horses must be clearly and correctly identified before they receive a medicine.

10) Use of all medicines must be clearly recorded in the Medicines Register, which will be made freely available to inspection if necessary, to officers of the Turf Club. Particular attention must be paid to the medicine administered; date of administration of the medicine, persons who administered the medicine, dose administered and reason for the administration. This must be in conformity with the current Animal Remedies Regulations.

11) The Trainer must take responsibility at all times for his/her stable staff. The trainer must ensure that they are well briefed and particularly knowledgeable on the specific issue of “prohibited substances” and that they are also competent, at all times, to ensure the correct administration of medicines to the correct horse, as prescribed by the veterinary surgeon. It is desirable that one person only in any training establishment is permitted to administer medicines and is responsible for recording the details of each administration in the Medicines Register.

12) Only authorised, bona fide veterinary medicines, in compliance with current legal requirements, can be stored or used on the premises.

13) The Trainer is at all times responsible for the correct use of veterinary medicines in his premises, and it is incumbent on him to ensure that his staff are adequately trained on all such relevant matters. Further, he must ensure that following consultation with the veterinary surgeon, that they will be requested to take responsibility for veterinary medicines administration, only on the direct instruction of the trainer.

14) It is advisable, that at all times, the administration of a veterinary medicine to a stabled horse is witnessed by the trainer or his authorised representative.

15) The Medicines Register must be kept up to date at all times.


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