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US Attorney's Office indicts track veterinarians

March 27, 2015
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Association of Racing Commissioners International (RCI) officials on Friday (March 27)  praised the announcement by Peter Smith, attorney for the United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, concerning the criminal indictment of four racetrack veterinarians with administering drugs to Thoroughbred racehorses within 24 hours of when the horse was entered to race.
 
"Today's indictments are indicative of how racing commissions are teaming up with law enforcement and other government agencies to enforce laws designed to protect horses and the integrity of racing,” said RCI President Ed Martin.
 
Racing commissions are quietly working to involve other regulatory and law enforcement entities to pool resources and take advantage of the collective jurisdictional reach of various entities to ensure that all regulations and laws are followed and enforced.
 
Martin said that similar efforts are underway in other jurisdictions and he praised the cooperative work of Pennsylvania racing regulators, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the Pennsylvania State Police for their work in building the case for the indictments announced today.
 
RCI will meet in Tampa, Fla., on April 21-23, 2015, and of special interest to be discussed are State Veterinary Board requirements that prescription medications be dispensed only upon a valid diagnosis for a specific patient. The American Association of State Veterinary Boards will be participating in the RCI discussions. The March 27 indictments claim that the defendants allegedly submitted false veterinarian treatment reports to the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission. The indictments also claim that drugs were not administered pursuant to a valid prescription and constituted misbranding of the prescription animal drugs in violation of federal law.
 
In 2012, five state racing commissions formally requested the assistance of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in multi-jurisdictional racing commission investigations. Martin said the FDA has been an invaluable resource and partner since then, as have other agencies that are now working with various state racing commissions. (Racing Commissioners International)
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