Tuesday, September 23, 2014Contact: Andrew Chesser
Statement of IFHA Chairman Louis Romanet on Horse Welfare

The Chairman of the International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities, Louis ROMANET, has used the opportunity of a global conference of racing veterinarians and laboratory analysts to reinforce that safeguarding the welfare of racehorses is a key mission of the Federation.

Addressing the 20th International Conference of Racing Analysts and Veterinarians, Chairman ROMANET outlined the Federation’s program   for racehorse welfare, as well as detailing the progress that has been made in advancing the fight against the use of performance-enhancing substances, and the Federation's plans for a new system of certification of racing analytical laboratories.

On the front of racehorse welfare, Chairman ROMANET said that the Federation's Horse Welfare Committee would take on a greater set of responsibilities. These would include identifying best practice approaches in individual countries for adoption elsewhere, developing global standards on important aspects of racehorse management and treatment, and promoting education and research initiatives.

"The first priority in racing is always the welfare of the racehorse and of the jockey. The essential work of the IFHA Horse Welfare Committee demonstrates that this commitment to horse welfare exists not only at level of the racing authorities of individual countries but also at the international level. I am particularly keen that wherever we see an issue emerge we are able to act in a timely manner to address it. I have every confidence that the expert group that we have drawn together to serve on the Horse Welfare Committee will meet this requirement."
About IFHA
The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) is the world peak body for the international sport of thoroughbred racing.  Its members are the national racing authorities across the globe which stage thoroughbred races.  Collectively these countries account for annual raceday attendance of more than 100 million people, total wagering turnover of some €90 billion and 170,000 races per year.   The Federation organizes the annual International Conference, now in its 48th year.
Major areas of the IFHA’s activities include:
  • Making and amending the International Agreement on Breeding, Racing and Wagering (the IABRW).  The IABRW was first published in 1974 and sets out the definition of the thoroughbred and the core requirements for the organisation of racing events and the health and welfare of jockeys and horses.
  • Policy development relating to welfare and safety of horses and riders
  • International Race Planning and Grading (“black type”)
  • World Rankings
  • Equine Prohibited Substances and Practices
  • Harmonisation of Race Day Rules
  • Fostering commercial development of the racing industry globally
The IFHA is a foundation member of the International Horse Sports Confederation and is affiliated to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).
About Horse Welfare Committee
The IFHA Executive Council established the ‘Horse Welfare Committee’ in 2010 in order that the committee promote best practice, harmonisation, and information exchange across Racing nations in all matters as they relate to the welfare of the horse, including establishing general guidance on and standards for the care and safety of horses. The committee also works to raise awareness amongst participants and third parties of horse welfare and establish permanent contact with welfare organisations, and closely works work with the International Movements of Horses Committee and the Advisory Committee on Prohibited Substances and Practices
The biennial International Conference of Racing Analysts and Veterinarians (ICRAV) is the principal forum for interested parties to address scientific, veterinary and welfare issues facing the racing industry. The Conference facilitates the dissemination of knowledge and ideas vital to maintaining the integrity of racing and the welfare of the horse.
ICRAV is conducted by two non-profit making organizations, the Association of Official Racing Chemists (AORC) and the International Group of Specialist Racing Veterinarians (IGSRV) whose charters are to provide scientific support to the world’s racing authorities. Members of these professional bodies regard ICRAV as an essential forum for addressing analytical and veterinary challenges to racing jurisdictions worldwide. Previous conferences have been held in Philadelphia (2012), New Zealand (2010), Turkey (2008), Japan (2006), Dubai (2004), Florida (2002), England (2000), British Columbia (1998), Australia (1996), Sweden (1994), Louisiana (1992), South Africa (1990), Kentucky (1988), Hong Kong (1985), Australia (1983), Canada (1981), Kentucky (1979), Ireland (1978) and England (1976). The Mauritius Conference in September 2014 will again afford an invaluable opportunity for scientific discussions, encouraging international harmonization and coordination of research programs.
Andrew Chesser
Deputy Secretary General, International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA)
Telephone +1 859 224 2741
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