The Detection Time is a product of the first observed time point at which urine and/or plasma samples collected from all horses in the study conducted according to the recommendation of the EHSLC (a given medicinal product, manufacturer’s recommended dosage regimen, etc.) are negative (i.e. the concentration in the biological fluid under study would be below a proposed screening sensitivity limit) and also risk management. Taking into consideration a range of possible detection times over a range of sensitivity limits for the drug under study, risk management is applied to agree a final sensitivity limit for the control of the drug. This policy decision of the sensitivity limit is then applied at the screening level by instruction to analytical laboratories. Using this approach, Detection Times have been determined and published.
In the framework of the risk analysis, the Detection Time is a piece of information released by racing authorities to stakeholders to assist professionals (veterinarians) to recommend a withdrawal time for a given horse. This allows the veterinarians to apply good veterinary practice in the use of therapeutic substances to treat racehorses. The overall process provides a fair and effective approach for controlling substances commonly used for treating racehorses and allows the eight member nations of the EHSLC to harmonise on the control of these substances through agreed limits of the sensitivity of screening procedures for raceday samples.
Discussions are underway to extend this approach across a wider international front. The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) has given its full support for the international harmonization of the control of substances commonly used to treat racehorses through the use of internationally agreed screening limits and published Detection Times.