by Ray Paulick
Efforts by the California Horse Racing Board to begin third-party administration of the anti-bleeder medication furosemide (Salix, formerly Lasix) – initiated in 2012 – suffered another setback last week when the state of California's Office of Administrative Law disapproved an amendment to sections 1433 and 1845 of Title 4 the California Code of Regulations because the regulations “failed to comply with the ‘clarity' standard of government code” and the CHRB “failed to follow all required procedures” under the California Administrative Procedure Act.
The amendment was proposed to bring California in line with the national recommendation of the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium and model rules of the Association of Racing Commissioners International.
In addition to requiring that third-party veterinarians administer the drug, the rule would make furosemide the only permitted race-day treatment for exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage in California.
CHRB communications officer Mike Marten says the CHRB now must revise the language to address the various issues raised by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL), send the revised regulation out for a 15-day public comment, schedule it for a subsequent board meeting for adoption as amended, send it back to the OAL with responses to any new issues raised during the 15-day public comment period, then wait 30 days for OAL approval.
The process to approve third-party furosemide began in January 2012 at a CHRB Medication and Track Safety Committee meeting. The rule has been opposed by a number of racetrack veterinarians.
If there are no further delays, the third-party furosemide program could begin as soon as July 2017, Marten said.