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The International Equestrian Federation’s congress on Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAID) Usage and Medication in the Equine Athlete was held last week in Lausanne, Switzerland. According to an FEI release, it is the first real opportunity to bring together all the new science on NSAIDs since the FEI’s 1993 ban on their use in competition.

“Knowledge and an understanding of all aspects in the debate on NSAIDs is key to an informed decision,” the FEI President HRH Haya stated in her opening address. “What we all most want from this Congress above all else is to give us, the FEI family, the tools and the confidence to have the wisdom to do what we all so clearly have shown we want to do - that is what is right for our partner, the horse.”

During the sessions, leading research experts outlined the current state of knowledge on NSAIDs to over 200 Congress participants representing 29 nationalities.

Congress participants heard that there is a substantial amount of new scientific evidence on the nature of NSAIDs, including improved ways of detecting them, their effect on the body and their side effects, as well as the effect of low levels of intake and combining different NSAIDs. The Congress is a means of providing up-to-date information on all aspects of the debate to allow for an informed decision when the National Federations vote on the use of NSAIDs in competition at the FEI General Assembly in Chinese Taipei, 1-6 November 2010.