New Kentucky Drug Penalties Due to Expire; Authority Considers Options

Officials with the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority were considering their options today (Feb. 15) following the failure of a legislative subcommittee to give final approval to new penalties for violations of the state's equine medication rules.
The penalties were enacted as part of an emergency regulation that went into effect three months ago and were scheduled to expire today. The emergency regulation was subject to legislative review and approval.

The regulations were considered Monday by the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee, but legislators deferred action on the rules until their March meeting. According to published reports, members of the subcommittee voiced concerns that the regulations do not provide horsemen and veterinarians with sufficient guidance on what would constitute a violation for most therapeutic medications.

At issue is what constitutes drug positives when trace amounts of therapeutic medications are detected in post-race tests. In an effort to provide trainers and vets with guidelines aimed at precluding the presence of trace amounts in tests, the state Equine Drug Research Council, an advisory body to the KHRA, last Friday adopted an attachment to the new penalties that include withdrawal times for about 50 therapeutic drugs and threshold levels for nine such drugs.

As a result of the matter being deferred Monday, the KHRA was considering Wednesday whether to request Gov. Ernie Fletcher to sign another emergency regulation identical to the one due to expire, or to revert to the regulations as they were previous to the regulatory body's action three months ago.

"We are in the process of strategizing what our next move will be." KHRA executive director Jim Gallagher said Wednesday. "Either we would have to resubmit another emergency rule for adoption, or it would lapse and we would have to go back to the original regulation."

Gallagher said he believed the authority could work through state administrative channels to get the regulation resubmitted for implementation as an emergency regulation.

About the Author

Ron Mitchell/The Horse

Ron Mitchell is Online Managing Editor for The Blood-Horse magazine. A Lexington native, Mitchell joined The Blood-Horse after serving in editorial capacities with The Thoroughbred Record and Thoroughbred Times, specializing in business and auction aspects of the industry, and was editor-in-chief of the award-winning Horsemen’s Journal. As online managing editor, Mitchell works closely with The Blood-Horse news editor and other departments to make sure the website content is the most thorough and accurate source for all Thoroughbred news, results, videos, and data.

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