Mandatory Disclosure of Veterinary Practices Postponed

The Monitoring Committee for the Sales Integrity Program has postponed implementation of the mandatory disclosure of acceptable veterinary practices, says the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

The program's code of ethics defines these practices as surgeries designed to affect permanent changes in a horse's conformation, including transphyseal bridges and periosteal transsections, manipulations, and elevations. The code had called for mandatory disclosure of the procedures starting with foals of 2005.

"We have always said this program is a work in progress," Monitoring Committee chairman Reynolds Bell Jr. said in a statement. "As we were implementing this particular provision of the code, certain issues and concerns were raised about the information management process for acceptable veterinary practices. After careful consideration by the Monitoring Committee and an open discussion with members of the Sales Integrity Task Force and consignors, we felt it was best to postpone implementation of this provision until these issues and concerns were fully addressed.

"However, until next year, when a new implementation plan for mandatory disclosure is developed, we encourage sellers and consignors to voluntarily disclose this information. In the interim, we will be forming subcommittees to address the pertinent issues to make this aspect of the code work effectively."

Issues and concerns raised include development of an effective record-keeping process at veterinary clinics, and development of a centralized database to capture and maintain the information.

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