“…In equestrian sport, the predominant argument in recent years justifying a complete ban on the use of these substances close to competition has been that the horse cannot choose for itself, and that therefore only such an approach can guarantee horse welfare. There are, however, arguments that, just as in human athletes, the use of NSAIDs is acceptable to the extent it does not exceed certain levels (in humans, there is no limit), and is in fact more humane as it allows for very basic treatment close to competition that could be required to treat, for example, simple travel related stiffness. There is also the argument that the banning of such substances is unrealistic as, since these are arguably a necessity, a ban creates a situation that does not allow for legitimate treatment by penalizing it…The levels were advised by experienced national team veterinarians, including those of the US and German Teams. The intention is to allow a single subclinical treatment up to 12 hours before competition that would achieve a mild anti-inflammatory effect. The initial 8 Î¼g/ml allowed is a safety margin, however the intent under new regulations is to ensure that the treatment only takes place in supervised areas and with the oversight of the Veterinary delegate.”
FEI President Princess Haya responded today to the growing dissent within the equestrian community about the FEI’s decision to allow low levels of bute and other NSAID’s.