06/16/2016 6:08PM

California Horse Racing Board approves third party vets to administer Lasix


The California Horse Racing Board approved rules for third party veterinarians to exclusively administer Lasix on race days at California tracks at its monthly meeting on Thursday.

Despite protestations from practicing veterinarians from Southern California, the measure passed by a 5-0 vote, with one abstention. The rule must be reviewed by the state’s office of administrative law before it is enacted, a process that can take several months.

The rule would require veterinarians or veterinary technicians not in private practice at the racetrack administer the medication and not veterinarians working on behalf of stables. The rule has been discussed for more than two years by the racing board.

California equine medical director Dr. Rick Arthur said the rule will give California racetracks a policy similar to rules in place at the Breeders’ Cup and Triple Crown races and in place in 14 states.

Veterinarians lodged a variety of complaints against the rule, saying the lack of Lasix administration will affect their income, and that the policy calls into question their integrity by no longer trusting them to adequately administer the medication.

Their complaints did not sway the opinion of chairman Chuck Winner.

“We’ve gone through this time and time again,” he said. “We don’t want to keep hearing the same arguments against it over and over.