Limiting Use Of Lasix Debated At Town Hall Meeting

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The Kentucky Racing Commission heard an avalanche of opposition to limiting the use of the anti-bleeding drug known as Lasix.

The public had a chance to comment Tuesday afternoon during a town hall meeting in Frankfort.

Most of the thoroughbred trainers, owners and veterinarians who spoke at the meeting, claimed the therapeutic drug is good for the horse.

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The state Racing Commission is considering a proposal that would ban the use of Lasix on race day for horses running in graded stakes races.

The controversy pits the public’s perception of doping against the horses well-being.

Many breeders are in favor of the ban.  They want Kentucky to lead the way in North America to ban the drug’s use.

Lasix isn’t used in Europe, Asia, Australia or the Middle East.

Studies show about 98-percent of all thoroughbreds that race in Kentucky use Lasix.  The national average is 95-percent.

Exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage is common in racehorses.

Lasix reduces blood pressure in the lungs and reduces the severity of bleeding, but doesn’t eliminate it.

Lasix has been used in horses since the late 1960’s.

The Racing Commission deadlocked on a vote on the proposed ban back in April.

Now, the watered-down version is expected to get another vote June 13th.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.