06/04/2014 8:58AM

Ontario HBPA supports ban on race-day medication


ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario announced Tuesday that it will submit a plan to the Ontario Racing Commission to ban race-day medication in the province.

If implemented, the plan would prevent veterinarians from entering a horse’s stall on the day it is entered to race. However, the administration of the anti-bleeding medication Lasix still would be permitted.

“The horse-racing industry, particularly horse people, continues to receive blame for not addressing the issue of administration of medications to our horses,” said Sue Leslie, president of the Ontario HBPA. “Our customers rightly deserve to be confident that horses are racing clean on race day.”

The issue was initially raised at an ORC industry consultation meeting. The board of directors of the HBPA said further research and observing negative publicity in the United States over the issue contributed to their decision.

While the implementation process is expected to take a few months, the HBPA of Ontario is hoping to send a message with this proposal that the health and welfare of horses is a top priority throughout the industry.