Australian Vets Condemn Cobalt Misuse in Horses: The Horse 12/11/15

By: Edited Press Release

Equine Veterinarians Australia (EVA) says the misuse of cobalt in horses is a serious welfare issue.

Ian Fulton, EVA President, BVSc, MSc, FACVSc, EVA president, said cobalt deficiency has not been reported in horses. Therefore, supplementation at high levels is unnecessary and can result in illness of horses and therefore becomes a matter of equine welfare.

“Contrary to some recent views on the use of cobalt, there is information from research in humans that strongly indicates that cobalt use may result in performance enhancing effects in athletes,” he said.

Racing Australia announced a new rule to control the use of cobalt as when used in high doses it is considered to be performance enhancing and presents a welfare issue to the industry; EVA announced its support of this rule in June.

“International racing authorities have deemed excessive cobalt supplementation in racing horses to be inappropriate,” Fulton said. “The collective knowledge of these organizations and adaptation by Racing Australia of a threshold level for cobalt is fully supported by EVA.”