ARCI: Lasix Ban May Lead To Inhumane Practices Such As Injecting Formaldehyde

POSTED ON  |  09-05-2019

All racing regulatory commissions have been put on notice that the banning of voluntary race day furosemide (Lasix) administrations by some US racetracks or lawmakers is expected to encourage a return to practices deemed cruel, inhumane, or potentially dangerous to the health and welfare of a horse.   

Regulatory policy permitting race day furosemide was developed decades ago to end such practices and permit a treatment deemed helpful to the health of the horse. The Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) has long maintained their international standard permitting such use is more considerate of the health or the horse than the standards of other organizations that disallow it.

Last Friday, the RCI advised Regulatory Commissions to be on the lookout for horses being given intravenous formaldehyde to combat potential incidents of bleeding. The advisory noted that formaldehyde use is already being investigated in at least one US jurisdiction, and the RCI investigatory intelligence network is reporting that if furosemide is banned in the US, illegal formaldehyde use as an alternative may become common.   

“This poses an inherent danger to the horse and can be potentially fatal.” the advisory read, noting that Racing Victoria, which does not permit race day furosemide,has been dealing with the formaldehyde alternative for several years.  

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