Monday, November 28, 2011 - Mark Humph Mark Humph

The British Horseracing Authority today announces four new Detection Times for commonly used veterinary medicines; the sedative acepromazine, the sedative /analgesic combination detomidine/butorphanol, the anti-inflammatory treatment prednisolone, and the airway treatment salmeterol.

The work to produce these Detection Times was performed at the Authority's Centre for Racehorse Studies and its contractor laboratory HFL Sport Science.

Effective from today, changes have also been made to some existing Detection Times, with lengthening of Detection Times for the local anaesthetics mepivacaine and lidocaine and shortened Detection Times for the airway treatments ipratropium and dembrexine to reflect changes in use of those medications and progress international harmonisation.

This wider harmonisation is now proceeding rapidly; the Authority has played a leading role in intensive discussions over the last year between European racing authorities working together as the European Horseracing Scientific Liaison Committee (EHSLC) and the Asian Racing Federation (ARF). Laboratory screening limits with accompanying Detection Times for 21 common veterinary medicines have now been harmonised via the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA).

Advice to Trainers and their Veterinary Surgeons on medication control has been simplified and updated, and these updates communicated via the professional bodies of both groups.

Tim Morris, Director of Equine Science and Welfare for the British Horseracing Authority said:

"The Authority has shown its commitment to providing advice on medication control with a substantial investment to produce more Detection Times and more information and advice"


1. Detection Times are the intervals between the time of the last drug administration and the time at which urine (and blood) concentrations are below the laboratory screening limit. It is important to note that a Detection Time is not equivalent to the Withdrawal Time as used by Veterinary Surgeons. The Withdrawal Time should be longer than a Detection Time to take into account the impact of all sources of animal variability (e.g age, sex, breed, training, racing) in order to avoid a positive test and account for the medicinal product actually administered (e.g formulation, route of administration, dosage regimen, duration of treatment).

2. Further details and more information on medication control, including a downloadable list of Detection Times ( ) and an extensive Questions and Answers section ( ) are available on the Authority's website.

3. The scientific studies to produce these Detection Times were performed at the Authority's Centre for Racehorse Studies ( ) with analysis at HFL Sport Science ( )

4. This Detection Time advice only applies to those regulated by the British Horseracing Authority. Although similar principles apply, equestrian sport is regulated by others ( )

5. The International harmonisation of laboratory screening limits is a priority for the IFHA Executive Council ( )

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