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Kentucky Racing Commission Passes Clenbuterol Reform

Under opposition from a commissioner representing the Standardbred industry, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission passed restrictions on clenbuterol Dec. 8 that were suggested by the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council last week.
 
Clenbuterol is a medication that can be used therapeutically to assist horses with respiratory difficulties but is suspected to have been abused due to its muscle-development properties. This has led regulators across parts of North America to implement restrictions meant to curb its use beyond treating horses with lower airway disease.
 
Under the terms of the regulation passed Tuesday by the KHRC, clenbuterol will be prohibited for all breeds unless a horse meets three conditions. Those include a prescription for a specific diagnosis, the transfer of its treatment records to the corresponding track equine medical director, and a requirement that a treated horse be placed on the veterinarian's list for a period of a minimum of 21 days, said Jennifer Wolfsing, KHRC general counsel. Horses on the veterinarian's list are not allowed to compete. 
 
Commissioner Alan Leavitt, and owner and breeder of Standardbreds and one of only a couple representatives of that industry on the commission, was the only individual to vote against the motion's passage. He said Standardbreds are paying for the "sins of Quarter Horse people and the Thoroughbred people," and called it helpful in harness racing, where horses might race on a weekly basis.
 
"I'm opposed to this, and I wish that the 'do-gooders' would just leave us alone because we don't abuse clenbuterol and it's very helpful to keep our horses very safe," he told fellow commissioners. 
 

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