Alan Foreman, chairman of the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, told the Thoroughbred Daily News this week a group of Mid-Atlantic horsemen will soon discuss a ban on the use of bisphosphonates in racehorses in the region. The drugs, which were approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in older horses with laminitic pain, have been an area of concern for regulators and veterinarians for several years.
Bisphosphonates are believed to have an analgesic effect and also limit the work of cells which break down bone as part of the horse's natural remodeling cycle. The drug negates the body's ability to remove damaged bone before laying down new bone cells, which is thought to result in brittle bones that could be more susceptible to injury. Veterinarians and regulators have raised concerns about its off-label use in young horses preparing for sale or in racing populations.
Foreman told the TDN his groups will also likely ask the Association of Racing Commissioners International to ban the drugs in young horses nationally.
Bisphosphonates are approved and considered safe for use in horses 4-year-olds and up, since their skeletons do not undergo the same cycling process as younger horses.
Read more at Thoroughbred Daily News
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