Follow Us on Social Media:
Follow Us on Social Media:

Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering Posts Notice of Key Provisions of HB 239 “Medication and Testing of Racing Animals” Signed Into Law on June 2, 2015

The Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering issued the following notice and hyperlink to a letter from its new Director, John Zachem:

To All Interested Parties:

Letter dated June 23, 2015 from Jonathan R. Zachem, Director, Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, contains the following information:

During the 2015 Legislative Session, House Bill (HB) 239 ‘‘Medication & Testing of Racing Animals” passed both the House and Senate with a favorable vote.  Subsequently, the bill was sent to the Governor on May 18, 2015.  The Governor signed the bill into law on June 2, 2015.  Some of the key provisions of the bill include the following:

  • Provides that the division may solicit input from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for adopting of rules that specify normal physiological concentrations of naturally occurring substances in the natural untreated animal and rules that specify acceptable levels of environmental contaminants and trace levels of substances in test samples.
  • Increases the fine authority for violations to $10,000 or the amount of the purse or sweepstakes, whichever is greater.
  • Requires prosecution to begin within 90 days after the violation was committed, rather than the current two years.
  • In addition to the owner and trainer, the bill requires the Division to now notify stewards and horsemen’s associations of results.
  • Prohibits the division from prosecution if the quantity of the racehorse split sample used for confirmation of a positive is an insufficient amount to test.
  • Requires annual quality assurance review of the Division laboratory and the independent laboratories by a third party and that the results and findings shall be reported to the division and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
  • Eliminates the administration of prednisolone sodium succinate to a race horse on race day.
  • Eliminates the requirement for Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) to be used to screen samples for the presence of Class IV and V medications in samples taken from race horses.
  • Eliminates the current method of adopting medication threshold levels for race horses recommended by the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine.
  • Eliminates the testing medium for phenylbutazone in horses.
  • Requires the Division to adopt rules, establishing the conditions of use and maximum concentration of medications, drugs, and naturally occurring substances identified in the Controlled Therapeutic Medication Schedule (CTMS) for race horses, Version 2.1, revised April 17, 2014, by the Association of Racing Commissioners International, Inc. (ARCI).   Such rules must be adopted before January 1, 2016.

Requires that the adopted rules:

  • Designate the appropriate biological specimens by which the administration of medication, drugs, and naturally occurring substances is monitored, and determine the testing methodologies, to include, measurement uncertainties, for screening those;
  • Include a classification system for drugs and substances and a corresponding penalty schedule for violations that incorporates the Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances, Version 8.0, revised December 2014, as adopted, by ARCI;
  • Specify that a drug not listed in the CTMS which is present in a sample taken from an animal immediately after the race is a prohibited substance; and
  • Include conditions for the use of furosemide to treat exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage.

Please keep in mind; although the effective date of the bill is July 1, 2015, the Division has 180 days to promulgate rules for the implementation of the required rules noted in the last bullet above.  All other provisions of the law (HB 239) will take effect on July 1, 2015.  To view that actual bill language and changes from existing law, please visit


The Division will conduct a rule workshop to solicit input from the public and industry stakeholders.  The date and time of the workshop will be noticed in advance in the Florida Administrative Weekly which can be viewed at:

Additionally, you can view the promulgation notices, workshop dates, and hearing dates via the Division’s internet site at: