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Arsenic threshold - Warning to Trainers Written by:
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13/09/17

Warning to Trainers - Arsenic threshold

Warning to trainers – Avoiding potential breaches of the arsenic threshold

On 1 July 2016, Greyhounds Australasia introduced a urinary threshold for arsenic of 800ng/mL within GAR 83 (11) as follows:
“Arsenic at or below a mass concentration of 800 nanograms per millilitre in a sample of urine taken from a greyhound will not breach the provisions of sub rule (1A) or (2) of this rule.”
GRSA wishes to reiterate previously published warnings surrounding the arsenic threshold and advise of husbandry practices trainers should avoid to minimise their risk of breaching the threshold.

CCA (Copper Chrome Arsenate) treated timber

CCA is used for wood preservation and it protects wood from dry rot, fungi, mould, termites and other pests that can threaten the integrity of wood products. Wood that is freshly treated with CCA has a greenish tinge that fades over time.

It has been claimed in equine codes that breaches of their arsenic threshold may have been due to ingestion of CCA treated timber. In a research study involving horses fed CCA timber sawdust, some of the horses marginally exceeded their threshold.

Similarly, it has been suggested in greyhound cases that the ingestion via chewing of CCA treated timber may be capable of resulting in breaches of the 800 ng/mL canine urinary threshold. While this has not been proven scientifically, a reduction in urinary arsenic concentrations following removal from the affected kennels does point to this possibility.

Participants should therefore be mindful that chewing or licking of kennels / yards constructed with CCA treated timber may result in breaches of the threshold.

Stewards advise this information will not constitute a defence to a charge in the case of a positive sample being returned over the threshold levels.

Seaweed/Kelp based nutritional supplements

Some seaweed based animal nutritional supplements have been tested by GRV and found to have high concentrations of arsenic. It was established that feeding these products could breach the threshold. Participants that choose to administer these products do so at their own risk and should avoid feeding close to racing.

Injectable supplements containing arsenic

Avoid the use close to racing of injectable supplements that contain arsenic including: NV Ferrocyl Injection (Sodium Cacodylate 6.4 mg/mL), NV Jurocyl (Sodium Arsanilate 50 mg/mL), TROY Invigorate As Injection (Sodium Arsanilate 50 mg/mL) and Jurox ARCYL Solution For Injection (Sodium Arsanilate 50 mg/mL).

It is ultimately the responsibility of participants to carefully consider the use of any and all food and additives to make sure that all greyhounds are presented for racing free of any prohibited substance.

For further information please contact your Veterinary Practitioner for professional advice.

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