Where can I get advice about feed supplements?

17 Jul 14

BHA supports both innovation and welfare enhancements, however, BHA does not wish to expose trainers and owners to the risk of a positive, however caused, or to using devices that are against the Rules for fair racing. Trainers, veterinary surgeons, racecourses and commercial enterprises should feel free to seek advice from BHA about particular treatments or therapies before use or promotion.

In the case of any product the manufacturer must first decide if it is a Veterinary Medicinal Product in which case it must be the subject of a valid Marketing Authorisation (MA), issued by the VMD. There are clear definitions for Veterinary Medicinal Products.

In these Regulations (Veterinary Medicines Regulations) ‘Veterinary Medicinal Product’ means-
(a) any substance or combination of substances presented as having properties for treating or preventing disease in animals; or
(b) any substance or combination of substances that may be used in, or administered to, animals with a view either to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action, or to making a medical diagnosis.

However the Rules of Racing do not apply just to the use of authorised Veterinary Medicinal Products, but more widely, therefore even for a supplement we would require the manufacturer to provide a quantitative analysis of the composition of the product and what it claims to do to offer advice. Our advice can only relate to the Rules of Racing. Any such request should be sent by email to the Equine Health and Welfare Department at equine@britishhorseracing.com

Please note BHA regulates horseracing and point to pointing in Great Britain. It also approves Rules for Pony and Arab racing. It does not comment on specific matters relating to sports it does not regulate. These are a matter for the regulator of that sport. For equestrian sport, this is the role of the FEI, which has a dedicated website on medication control: FEI Clean Sport.