05/12/2011 2:54PM

Furosemide conference set for June in New York City


A conference focusing on the raceday use of the diuretic furosemide to treat bleeding in the lungs has been scheduled for June 13-14 in New York City, the organizers of the conference announced on Thursday.

The conference will take place amid an ongoing debate over the raceday use of furosemide in North American racing. A number of influential industry organizations, including the Jockey Club, the American Association of Racing Commissioners International, and the Breeders’ Cup, have endorsed an effort to prohibit the raceday use of furosemide, but organizations representing horsemen have indicated they would be opposed to the ban.

The conference is being organized by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. Horsemen’s groups provide funding to both the NTRA and the medication consortium. The equine veterinarians’ group has not released an official position on furosemide use, but its members are generally supportive of raceday administrations of the drug.

In a release, the organizers said that the conference will include presentations from “representatives from major racing jurisdictions around the world, including Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia.” Panels at the conference will include discussions on regulatory issues surrounding furosemide use and veterinary and training practices to treat or reduce the incidence of bleeding in the lungs, the organizers said.

The United States and Canada are the only major racing jurisdictions in the world that allow the raceday use of furosemide.