Important Changes to the USEF Therapeutic Drug Rule Regarding NSAIDs
From the USEF Equine Drugs and Medication Program
At this year's USEF Annual Meeting held January 13-17, 2010, an important rule change was approved affecting the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in competition horses. Over the years, ongoing veterinary research has revealed that not only is there little or no benefit to administering more than one NSAID to a horse for most medical concerns, it can actually cause potentially harmful, even severe side effects.
Motivated by its commitment to the welfare of the horse, the USEF Board of Directors voted to amend its Therapeutic Drug Rule and restrict use to a single NSAID beginning December 1, 2011. Both the American Association of Equine Practioners (AAEP) and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) support the rule change, and USEF joins other organizations including the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and Equine Canada in making this important rule change.
While the presence of two of the seven approved and quantitatively restricted NSAIDs in a horse will still be allowed prior to December 2011 (with the exception of the forbidden combination of phenylbutazone "Bute," and flunixin meglumine [Banamine®]), it is important to note that new restrictions are in place concerning their use. Beginning April, 1, 2010, anyone using two NSAIDs in a horse within five days prior to participating at a USEF-licensed competition will be required to complete and file a NSAID Disclosure Form with the USEF Steward/Technical Delegate or their Designated Competition Office Representative. This form will allow the USEF Equine Drugs and Medications Program to collect valuable data regarding the use of NSAIDs in competition horses.
USEF has developed an education plan to guide management, owners, trainers, and exhibitors through the implementation of this rule change. The Federation has published an informational pamphlet and created the NSAID Disclosure Form. Both the pamphlet and the forms will be shipped to all Competition Managers for distribution from their competition offices. Additionally, both the form and the pamphlet are immediately available online at:
It is the responsibility of the competitor and their veterinarian to make certain the use of two NSAIDs within five days of competing is reported on the NSAID Disclosure Form and is properly filed with the USEF Steward/Technical Delegate or their Designated Competition Office Representative. It is important to note that a standard USEF Medication Report Form may not be used in this particular instance. Once filed, it is the responsibility of USEF Steward/Technical Delegate to collect the NSAID Disclosure Form(s) and submit them to the Federation Office in Lexington, Kentucky.
For additional information and veterinary literature regarding NSAID use and the change to the USEF rule concerning their use, visit: http://www.usef.org/_IFrames/Drugs/NSAID.aspx