Are herbal products Prohibited Substances under the Rules of Racing?

17 Jul 14

The active substances contained within the herbal ingredients are Prohibited Substances if they fulfil the criteria for a Prohibited Substance under the Rules of Racing Schedule (G)1

To understand the difference between the presence of herbs in feedstuffs and use for treatment it  is helpful to note the legal definition of a ‘Veterinary Medicinal Product’ as outlined in the Veterinary Medicines Regulations; which is(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.

Thus a herbal product claiming to be a treatment in labelling or advertising, and/or that contains substances in amounts that may be restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action is likely to result, under the Rules of Racing as being considered as a treatment containing Prohibited Substances and its administration, as well as its detection, may lead to disciplinary sanctions.

Interpretation of the difference between a feeding stuff and a treatment must therefore be a question of informed context and judgment. BHA would assess the claims made for the product, the substance present using authoritative information (such as the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain), and the amounts of active substance present.