The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association restated its strong support for the continued use of Lasix (furosemide, also commonly called Salix) at its summer convention Aug.15-17 in Oklahoma City.
Lasix is currently the only recognized medication for treating exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage.
The National HBPA joins the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, the Thoroughbred Owners of California, and the California Thoroughbred Trainers in supporting Lasix use in recent statements. Together these four horsemen's groups have nearly 50,000 owner and trainer members who race in the United States and Canada.
Those attending the Oklahoma City convention heard a panel of nationally recognized experts stating that current medical science does not support The Jockey Club's call for banning the race-day use of Lasix. The NHBPA says a ban would inevitably be harmful to horses.
In June, The Jockey Club called on industry stakeholders to come together to conduct a Lasix study that would examine the timing of administration of the medication to prevent EIPH. The organization also has said it would pursue federal legislation toward a national policy on medication reform in racing.
Pulmonary bleeding is inextricably associated with horses, and puts the health of horses and safety of jockeys at risk, the National HBPA stated in a release.
"Until a better treatment for this progressive disease is identified, there is no possible ethical or humane justification for depriving racing horses and their riders of the protective therapeutic benefits of Lasix."