Horses competing under FEI rulings have a number of substances and medications that are not permitted in competitive sport. These “Prohibited Substances” are divided into two categories:
Banned Substances – that have no role in equine medicine and are never allowed. Horses are not allowed to compete with these substances in their bodies.
Controlled Medication - are substances that are deemed to have therapeutic value and/or be commonly used in equine medicine. Controlled Medications have the potential to affect performance and/or be a welfare risk to the horse. Although, these can have a legitimate role in horse medicine, animals cannot compete when using them. Veterinary advice should always be sought about controlled medications and their use.
Specified Substances - These materials can be in either the banned or controlled group. Some of these substances are more likely to have been ingested by horses for a purpose other than the enhancement of sport performance, for example, through a contaminated food substance.
There are severe penalties for riders, owners and other associates if a horse fails a drugs test and attention and care has not been taken to prevent this.
As a feed and supplement company, our objective is to minimise the risk of prohibited substances getting into our products. At EquiFeast, we manufacture our products in the UK and our factory based in Gloucestershire, contains no ingredients that are on the FEI Prohibited or Banned Substances lists.
As with many other equine supplements companies, our factory supplies species other than horses (including small animals and birds), making it challenging for us to obtain quality certification that meets the requirements of the BETA NOPS Scheme. However, we have adopted a high number of the protocols and procedures and we are confident that our procedures are robust and thorough.
We have set up our factory operates to meet manufacturing standard ISO 9002. Our processes are designed to minimise manufacturing errors and cross contamination of products. We are routinely inspected by Gloucestershire Trading Standards who are the body responsible for providing us with our Establishment Registration. Our Registered number is GB123/R10/000313.
Drug Contamination Risk
We do not sell any drugs or medicinal type products into the UK horse market. As our factory satisfies various aspects of and branches of the business, we do have some drug products sold under the Small Animal Exemption Scheme for birds and small animals.
Only one of these is repacked in our factory, this is Amprolium. All others products are marketed in their original packaging and distributed without the products being opened.
NONE OF THESE DRUGS LISTED ARE DETAILED ON THE FEI PROHIBITED SUBSTANCES LIST.
Herbal Contamination Risk
Some of our horse and bird products produced in our factory contain herbs. The key herbal ingredient (which is also used in horse products in Germany) have been tested for feed contamination a number of times and always been found “clean”.
NONE OF THE HERBS USED ARE ON THE FEI PROHIBITED SUPPLEMENTS LIST.
Accidental Feed Contamination
There are a number of prohibited substances that can get into the raw materials used in horse feeds by accident. An example of this is morphine, which comes from poppies that may contaminate some grain crops. No system can guarantee zero contamination from a natural source such as this.
To ensure our products contain no prohibited substances, we sporadically test a number of our CORE & MORE feed products for 10 substances that can get into the feed chain by accident. These are Atropine, Bufotenine, Caffeine, Dimethyltryptamine, Hordenine, Hyoscine, Methylbufotenene, Morphine, Theobromine and Theophylline.
Contamination with Human Food (tea, coffee and chocolate)
There is always a small risk that operators in the factory could contaminate products with foods and drinks. We minimise this risk by:
- Strict rules preventing any eating or drinking in the factory or warehouse areas
- Providing staff with space outside the factory/warehouse for breaks and lunch
- Emphasis during new employee induction
- Regular training sessions for all staff.
- Regularly washing hands after food consumption.
EquiFeast’s Track Record
Whilst we do our very best to implement the highest standards and procedures, the reality is that no prohibited substances avoidance system can ever be 100% fool proof. However, EquiFeast have been marketing horse supplements and feeds since 2005 and have provided feed or supplements to customers that have competed at three Olympic Games and numerous World and European Championships.
In addition, we have had many competitors compete at 4* events in the UK, Europe, Australia and the USA and many lower level events where competitors’ horses are tested. We can confirm that no test failures have ever been recorded.
We continue to maintain our high quality assurance standards and provide products that enables our customers and their horses to perform to their best.