535.11 Prohibition against administration of drugs; testing; search powers of department; penalties.—
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Depressant” means any medication that depresses the circulatory, respiratory, or central nervous system.
(b) “Forbidden substance” means any stimulant, depressant, tranquilizer, analgesic, local anesthetic, steroidal or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or drug or drug metabolite that could affect the performance of a horse. The term includes any substance, regardless of how harmless or innocuous, which could interfere in detecting the presence of a stimulant, depressant, tranquilizer, analgesic, local anesthetic, steroidal or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or drug or drug metabolite that could affect the performance of a horse.
(c) “Horse show,” “horse exhibition,” or “horse sale” means any event in which horses compete for awards, prizes, points, ribbons, or money or are made available for public sale other than through a public sale of thoroughbred horses that requires licensing under s. 535.01.
(d) “Stimulant” means any medication that stimulates the circulatory, respiratory, or central nervous system.
(e) “Trainer” means any adult who has the responsibility for the care, training, custody, or performance of a horse. Such person may be an owner, rider, agent, or coach, as well as a trainer.
(2) It is unlawful for any person to conduct any horse show or exhibition in which the person knowingly allows to be shown or exhibited a horse that has been administered any forbidden substance in violation of this section. A horse may not be entered, shown, or exhibited in any class in any horse show or exhibition, or entered, exhibited, or sold in a horse sale, if it has been administered, in any manner, any forbidden substance, in violation of this section. The full use of modern therapeutic measures for the improvement and protection of the health of the horse is permitted if those measures comply with subsection (5).
(3) In the absence of substantial evidence to the contrary, trainers are responsible for a horse’s condition and for compliance with all laws and rules concerning the showing and exhibiting of horses and the sale of horses. If any trainer is prevented from performing her or his duties, including the responsibility for the condition of the horses in her or his care, by illness or other cause, or is absent from any show or sale where horses under her or his care are entered and stabled, the trainer must immediately notify the management of the horse show or sales company and, at the same time, appoint a substitute. The substitute and the regular trainer are equally responsible for the condition of the horses. When a minor exhibitor has no trainer, a parent or guardian must assume the responsibility of trainer.
(4) Any trainer or other person who administers, attempts to administer, instructs, aids, or conspires with another to administer, or employs anyone who administers or attempts to administer, a forbidden substance to a horse, either before or during a horse show or sale, without complying with subsection (5), is subject to the penalties provided in s. 535.12.
(5) Any horse being exhibited at a horse show or entered in any sale which receives any medication that contains a forbidden substance is not eligible for competition in such show or to be sold at such sale unless the following requirements have been met and the facts requested are furnished in writing:
(a) The medication must be therapeutic and necessary for treatment of an illness or injury.
(b) The horse must be withdrawn from competition or from any sale for at least 24 hours after the medication is administered.
(c) The medication must be administered by a licensed veterinarian.
(d) A written statement setting forth the following information must be furnished:
1. Identification of the medication, and the amount, strength, and mode of administration.
2. Date and time of administration.
3. Identification of the horse’s name, age, sex, color, and entry number, if available.
4. Diagnosis and reason for administration.
The statement must be signed by the veterinarian administering the medication and must be filed with a representative of the management of the horse show or sale within 1 hour after administration, or within 1 hour after such representative returns to duty, if administration is made at a time other than during show or sale hours. The statement must be signed by such representative, who must also record the time of receipt on the statement.
(6) Any horse entered in any horse show or exhibition or entered in any horse sale is subject to examination by an approved veterinarian representing the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The veterinarian may appoint a technician to perform certain duties under her or his direction. The examination may include physical, saliva, urine, and blood tests, and, with the trainer’s consent, the administration of a drug to induce urination, or any other test or procedure, in the discretion of the veterinarian, necessary to effectuate the purposes of this section. The veterinarian may examine any or all horses in a class or in all classes in a show, or any horse entered in any class, whether in competition or not and whether or not on the show ground, or any horse withdrawn by an exhibitor within 24 hours prior to the class for which it has been entered, or any horse entered in any horse sale. Each exhibitor, trainer, and consignor must, upon request of the veterinarian, permit such test specimens as are necessary to be taken. Any person who refuses to submit a horse for examination or to cooperate with the veterinarian or her or his agents is subject to the penalties provided in s. 535.12.
(7) A representative of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may enter the stable, tack room, automobile, van, or any other place within the enclosure of a horse show or horse sale to inspect or examine the personal effects and property of each trainer and each of her or his employees or agents. If a forbidden substance is found in any of such locations, the trainer responsible for the area in which the drug is found is subject to the penalties provided in s. 535.12. If such representative has reason to believe that bottles or containers contain a forbidden substance, the bottles or containers may be removed from the custody of any trainer or her or his employees or agents for testing. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or its agents or any veterinarian representing the department is not liable for any actions lawfully taken in carrying out this subsection.
(8) Each horse show and sales company must set aside suitable facilities conveniently located for the veterinarian representing the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to make tests under this section.
(9) The chemical analysis of saliva, urine, or other samples taken from a horse which indicate the presence of a forbidden substance constitutes prima facie evidence that the forbidden substance has been administered to the horse. If an analysis indicates the presence of a forbidden substance, and all the requirements of subsection (5) have been fully complied with, the information contained in the statement required by paragraph (5)(d) and any other relevant evidence must be considered in determining the guilt of any person charged under this section.
(10) The owners of a horse found to have been administered a forbidden substance in violation of this section must forfeit all prize money, sweepstakes, trophies, and ribbons won at any show by the horse, and the money, sweepstakes, trophies, and ribbons must be redistributed accordingly. If, following the sale of a horse, the horse is found to have been administered a forbidden substance in violation of this section, the consignor of the horse must accept return of the horse as unsold.
History.—s. 2, ch. 71-166; s. 1, ch. 77-213; s. 220, ch. 79-400; s. 2, ch. 81-318; ss. 3, 10, 11, ch. 83-13; ss. 1, 2, ch. 93-28; s. 740, ch. 97-103; s. 2, ch. 98-396.