The West Virginia Racing Commission has officially scheduled a meeting for Sept. 17 to take comments from industry representatives on the use of furosemide, also known as Salix or Lasix, on race day.
The WVRC is currently extending invitations to organizations and individuals asking if they would like to comment, said Kelli Talbott, senior deputy attorney general for the commission. Among the national organizations invited to speak are the American Association of Equine Practitioners, Jockeys' Guild, National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association, and The Jockey Club.
Talbott said the Charles Town and Mountaineer HBPAs have been invited, as has the West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association. Representatives of Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races and Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort also have been asked to speak.
In August WVRC chairman Joe Smith said the racing commission is following the lead of Kentucky, which held a similar meeting late last year. Smith said education is needed regarding the therapeutic anti-bleeding medication and its use on race day.
The meeting will be held at 10 a.m. EDT at the West Virginia Lottery building in Charleston.
Meanwhile, the WVRC has filed the latest version of its rules of racing, which have been updated to ban the use of adjunct bleeder medications (Aminocaproic acid, Tranexamic acid, and Carbazochrome) on race day; lower the threshold level for administration of phenylbutazone, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug known as Bute; and greatly heighten penalties for drug violators.
Talbott said the rules also allow the WVRC to take action against permit-holders that knowingly or without conducting due diligence sell a horse to slaughter, directly or indirectly.
The new rules don't require Salix to be administered by regulatory veterinarians on race day, though the issue was discussed.
"The commission has deferred that issue to a future rule-making cycle because there are a number of practical and logistical issues associated with implementation that need to be explored and resolved," Talbott said.
The West Virginia legislature must approve the rules for them to take effect. The next session begins in early 2013.