Monday, March 29, 2010 - Mark Humph Mark Humph

Any vets officiating at, or treating horses competing at, FEI events are advised that several significant new rules and regulations come into effect from 5th April, 2010. The FEI’s recently launched “Clean Sport Campaign” is a multi-level effort to improve and standardise equestrian sport by providing access to a comprehensive source of information on, not only the new FEI anti-doping and controlled medication regulations, and a new, individually-named, list-based approach to prohibited substances, but also information with a greater emphasis on how to use common substances with established detection times, explaining testing procedures, and introducing changes in other areas of the FEI veterinary regulations, such as greater supervision of treatments at FEI events.

The FEI is aiming to improve the consistency of decision making by FEI veterinary officials by ensuring that by 2012 all veterinarians present at an FEI event must have attended an FEI veterinarian course within the last 5 years. This is part of an overall objective of increasing the level of professionalization across equestrian sport. Other measures therefore include increased security measures for stables, a stricter approach to the access to competing horses, and ensuring that the public is more aware of the harmonised international FEI laboratory standards

The overall effect sought by these new measures is to allow competitions to proceed fairly for all, and in the best interests of the welfare of the horse.

Concurrently, a new range of much stricter sanctions for Doping and Medication offences  is also being introduced by the FEI, and the definition of a “Person Responsible” has also been extended to cover veterinary surgeons and other support personnel. Under the new Equine Anti- Doping and Controlled Medication Regulations, doping substances, which have no place in equine sport, and are called “Banned Substances”, will attract a minimum of a 2 year ban. Medication substances that are commonly used in equine medicine, but prohibited in competition, are called “Controlled Medication Substances” and can attract up to a 2 year ban depending on the results of any investigation.  The FEI has provided the new Prohibited List in both pdf and also in an easily-searchable database that uses the first few letters of active substances.

With such stricter sanctions now about to be in place, FEI officials and veterinarians who advise clients competing in FEI events should familiarize themselves with the changes as soon as possible.

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