KAEP: Radiograph Reports Not Marketing Tools

When shopping for horses at a sale, buyers sometimes ask consignors about the information contained in radiograph reports on the animals instead of hiring a veterinarian to look at the reports in the sale's repository. But according to the Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners, such a practice could negatively impact the integrity of the sale process because of the possibility that consignors, in an effort to promote their horses, might not reveal all the report's information or manipulate it.

Another concern is that buyers might not completely understand or misinterpret the information in the reports without the help of a veterinarian.

Consequently, the KAEP has issued a position statement that takes a stand against the use of radiograph reports as marketing tools at public auctions and urges buyers to establish a "veterinary-client/patient relationship with a knowledgeable veterinarian," who will read the radiograph reports in a sale's repository, interpret them, and discuss them with the buyer.

"The radiograph report is part of a horse's medical record," said Dr. Ernie Martinez, the KAEP's president-elect. "It is produced after a veterinarian takes the radiographs and is a record of the findings. It is in the repository for veterinarians to look at so they can recommend or not recommend a horse to their clients.

"But the reports have the potential to be used as a kind of marketing tool in the back of the sale ring or on the sale grounds when instead of having a veterinarian go and read the films in the repository, a buyer asks a consignor to show him a report. That report (the seller has) is just a printed-out copy, and it could be manipulated - information 'Wited-Out' - in an unethical manner to help sell the horse. Even if the consignor shows a buyer the entire report, he may not be able to elaborate on the significance of any lesions."

The KAEP plans to provide its members with client education materials that can be posted or distributed at sales.

(This article first appeared on Bloodhorse.com)

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