Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Judge refuses to block emergency regulations on equine drugs
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 2, 2005) - The enforcement of emergency state regulations to limit race day drugs and medications in Kentucky can proceed under a ruling issued today in Franklin Circuit Court. The emergency regulations will be implemented and enforced beginning Sept. 7, the opening day of the Turfway Park race meet.
Judge Roger Crittenden denied a motion filed by the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) to enjoin the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority (KHRA) from enforcing the emergency regulations signed by Governor Ernie Fletcher last month. Crittenden did rule that the KHRA could not enforce limited sections of the emergency regulations to address concerns raised by veterinarians who had joined the HBPA in the lawsuit.
"We are pleased that Judge Crittenden has upheld 99 percent of the emergency regulation," said Jim Gallagher, executive director of the KHRA. "We will work with horsemen, trainers and veterinarians over the coming week to ensure a smooth transition to the new rule. We will also continue working with the industry as we continue to improve our proposed permanent regulations."
Governor Fletcher signed the emergency regulations three days after the KHRA voted to amend the current regulation, which many believed had been administered in a manner too lax. The Equine Drug Research Council (EDRC) had recommended that the KHRA adopt a model drug rule promoted by the national Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.
Crittenden did grant a temporary injunction for veterinarians practicing at race tracks and training facilities for sections of the regulations addressing possession or use of a medicine, drug or substance not approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. Enforcement action is also prohibited for a veterinarian’s use of bicarbonate soda and related paraphernalia.
The KHRA is also enjoined from taking enforcement action against a veterinarian practicing at race tracks and training facilities for use of a drug, medication or substance "for which a recognized analytical method has not been developed to detect and confirm the administration or presence of such medicine, drug or substance."
Under the regulations, race day medications will be limited to Salix and two adjunct bleeder medications. The regulations allow a single, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to be administered 24 hours prior to post time. The old rule allowed multiple NSAIDs four hours prior to post time.