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The contentious subject of whether non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like bute should be permitted in competition will be put to the vote at the 2010 International Equestrian Federation (FEI) General Assembly.

The subject caused a furore in the horseworld after being voted through at the 2009 general assembly last month.

“There was a clear need to debate this issue further and the decision to put the policy choice to the vote at the 2010 General Assembly reflects that,” said FEI secretary-general Alex McLin.

The FEI announced today (18 December) that a group, which will include representatives from additional stakeholders including relevant animal welfare groups, will conduct a full review of the equine prohibited substances list, looking in particular at NSAIDs.

The review will decide whether or not the use of these substances in competition, singly and at specifically prescribed levels, is a threat to horse welfare and whether or not these substances, at specific levels, are performance enhancing.

National federations (NFs) will have the opportunity to voice their opinions through their group chairs.

Other equestrian bodies, including racing authorities, will also be consulted.

NFs will vote on whether the FEI should allow the restricted use of NSAIDs, at the 2010 FEI General Assembly, which will take place in Chinese Tarpei, from 1-6 November 2010.