RIRDC Report – The Pharmacokinetics of Equine Medications / National / 31 Jan, 2012

A new report by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC), which will assist horse trainers, owners and vets to make better informed decisions about how long substances take to leave a horse’s system, has recently been released.

The RIRDC report, The Pharmacokinetics of Equine Medications, includes the most up-to-date, highest quality and thoroughly tested scientific data about the excretion times for twelve therapeutic drugs commonly used in the horse industry.

Australian Horse Industry Council president Roger Lavelle said: "The four-year research study involving a number of Australian racing laboratories and universities looked at the excretion rates of therapeutic substances identified as the most important ones used in horses.'

"This Australian study is one of the most comprehensive of its kind in the world.

"The outcome of this research will be a marked improvement on the currently available information about excretion times of the drugs which is based on very limited data, sometimes obtained from only one or two horses.

"This study tested each of the drugs on 12 horses, allowing for variation among horses in the excretion times for drugs."

The project involved widespread industry consultation. Non-racing organisations in the project included Equestrian Australia, the country's national federation for equestrian sport and an affiliate of the FEI, and the Australian Horse Industry Council.

"A reference group made up of key people from the horse industry were involved in determining which drugs were tested, according to the most urgent needs and demands of veterinarians.

"The findings are now being examined by the National Equine Welfare and Integrity Advisory Group, who will conduct a thorough review of the current reporting levels and detection times in Australia on behalf of our own regulators."

Lavelle said the researchers were also consulting with the Asian and European racing authorities to inform screening limits overseas and help harmonise detection systems around the world.

Another report will be released later this year containing results of another six therapeutic substances.

The 12 drugs included in the report are Phenylbutazone, Flunixin, Ketoprofen, Hydrocortisone, Prednisolone, Methylprednisolone, Buscopan Compositum, Lignocaine, Mepivacaine, Prilocaine, Detomidine, and Acepromazine.

The Pharmacokinetics of Equine Medications is available for download from the RIRDC website www.rirdc.gov.au