Santa Anita Lasix Agreement

Santa Anita Park, a thoroughbred horse racing track in California, has made a groundbreaking agreement to limit the use of Lasix, a controversial drug in the racing industry. The move is seen as a significant step in addressing the welfare and safety concerns surrounding the use of this drug on racehorses.

Lasix, also known as Furosemide, is a diuretic medication used to treat exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH), commonly known as bleeding from the lungs. It is a legal medication in horse racing, and its use is widespread. However, many animal welfare advocates, industry experts, and veterinarians argue that Lasix is overused and has serious side effects, including dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and kidney damage.

The Santa Anita Lasix Agreement is a game-changer for the horse racing industry as it represents a significant shift in the standard medication protocol for racehorses. Under this agreement, Lasix will be banned on race days for two-year-old horses. Additionally, the use of Lasix for three-year-old horses will be restricted to a maximum of 50% of the previous race-day dosage.

The agreement is the result of a collaboration between The Stronach Group, the owner of Santa Anita Park, and several leading horsemen`s groups, including the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) and the California Thoroughbred Trainers (CTT). The agreement will begin at Santa Anita Park in 2022 and will gradually be implemented at other tracks owned by The Stronach Group, such as Gulfstream Park in Florida.

The agreement is a significant effort to address the welfare and safety concerns surrounding the use of Lasix on racehorses, but it is not without its critics. Some in the industry argue that Lasix is necessary to prevent EIPH, and limiting its use could result in higher rates of horse fatalities. However, many veterinarians and animal welfare advocates argue that Lasix is often used as a masking agent for underlying health conditions, and its overuse can contribute to horse fatalities.

The Santa Anita Lasix Agreement represents a step forward in the ongoing efforts to improve horse racing`s safety and welfare standards. The agreement sets a new standard for medication protocols and demonstrates the willingness of industry stakeholders to address the concerns surrounding Lasix. Hopefully, other tracks and horsemen`s groups will follow Santa Anita`s lead and work together to protect the welfare of racehorses.