Phenylbutazone Use In Europe

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) has been assured by the British Government that phenylbutazone can continue to be used. France has followed BEVA's lead and has agreed that sport horses can be classified as non-food producing animals which enables them to continue to use phenylbutazone in these horses in France.

BEVA, along with the British Veterinary Association, met with members of the CVMP and Dr. M. Rutter, from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, late last year to clarify the situation. In Great Britain the status quo prevails, i.e., phenylbutazone can continue to be prescribed in horses which will not enter the human food chain.

As of January 1, 1998, owners of horses using phenylbutazone must be informed in writing that horses prescribed this NSAID must not enter the human food chain, in BEVA's opinion.

In the short term it seems likely that the use of phenylbutazone in Great Britain is safe. However, in the long term it may ultimately be necessary to permanently identify horses prescribed phenylbutazone to ensure that they do not enter the human food chain.

About the Author

Tim Brockhoff

Tim Brockhoff was Staff Writer of The Horse:Your Guide to Equine Health Care from 1995 to 1999. His degree is in Agricultural Communications from the University of Kentucky, and his equine experience is with American Saddlebreds.

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