QRIC Warning to Trainers – CCA treated timber and horses

15 November 2018

Trainers are advised to be extremely cautious when allowing horses to access or administering products to their racing animals that contain arsenic close to race day as this may lead to a rise in urinary arsenic levels above the allowed race-day threshold.

Trainers should prevent horses having the ability to lick, chew and ingest arsenic-treated timber that may be in the horse’s environment including in the stable, paddock or yard.

Trainers with horses that are known to regularly ‘wood chew’ are advised to house them in stables or fields with fences made from substances other than arsenic-treated timber.
An inorganic form of arsenic is used as an insecticide in some timber treatments such as chromated copper arsenate (CCA).

CCA has been used to treat wood for many decades. Inorganic arsenic is more toxic than organic arsenic and can affect the skin, respiratory, immune, urinary, reproductive, and gastrointestinal and nervous systems of mammals.

The presence of arsenic above a concentration of 0.30 micrograms per millilitre (μg/mL) in a race-day equine urine sample constitutes a breach of the Rules of Racing.
Other products containing arsenic include, but are not limited to, ‘Ferrocyl’,‘Jurocyl’, and ‘Invigorate’ injections.

Arsenic can also be present in some seaweed based nutritional supplements.
It is the responsibility of all trainers to consider access to any sources of prohibited substances and the use of any supplements or additives. Trainers must ensure that any horse is presented on race day free of any prohibited substance in accordance with the relevant Rules of Racing.

The Commission notifies trainers that environmental contamination (through CCA timber or other means) will not necessarily be considered a significant penalty-mitigating factor for presentation of a horse with urinary concentrations above the arsenic threshold in the future.

Trainers are advised to take measures to ensure that race horses do not have access to environmental sources of arsenic, including treated timber products.

For further information please contact the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission on 1300 087 021.


If you have any information about serious misconduct in racing, contact Crime Stoppers on their toll free number 1800 333 000 or e-mail reportsomething@qric.qld.gov.au