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BETA update on Horse Feed contamination

23/07/2014

BETA would like provide the following update on a feed contamination issue that might affect competition riders.

It would appear that two companies within the feed industry have discovered that some of the raw material used in feeds may have been contaminated by seeds from the morphine poppy.

Both manufacturers sourced the affected ingredients from the same supplier, which has now accepted full responsibility for the contamination.

Morphine is a naturally occurring prohibited substance(NOPS). As the name implies, it is naturally present within certain feed ingredients or can arise as a result of inadvertent cross-contamination during processing and/or transport and storage.

Whilst the presence of poppy seeds may be minimal it may still be sufficient for the trace amounts of morphine subsequently present to cause a horse to fail a dope test. The substance itself at the levels found is of no concern for either human or horse welfare.

The two companies affected:

Dodson & Horrell

The company found the contaminated material in their Alfalfa Oil Plus.

Dodson & Horrell have subsequently recalled all stocks of Alfalfa Oil Plus with the batch numbers week 20-28 as a precautionary measure, in accordance with our procedures and NOPS protocol.

No positive test results have been recorded in any other Dodson & Horrell product currently in the market.

If any riders are concerned please contact the Dodson & Horrell helpline on 0845 345 2627

Allen and Page

This company uses the same supplier of raw material but has no connection with racing or any of the positive test results currently in the media.

Indeed, there have been no positive tests to date through feeding Allen & Page feeds.

However, during rigorous routine testing, Allen & Page found a low level of contamination amongst raw materials at its mill. Although different from those affecting the other case, they came from the same supplier, which has once again accepted responsibility and is currently involved in a process of extensive internal investigation.

Although now identified and quarantined there is a very small possibility that some of the ingredients were included in feed that reached the market place. 

The source was identified this week by Allen & Page, and any remaining traces of contaminated ingredient have been quarantined at the mill and disposed of. Only those Allen & Page feeds with a batch date of between 18 June and 7 July 2014 might potentially be affected.

The company has contacted the riders that they regularly supply however feel that their duty of care is such that there remains a possibility that riders they are unaware of may be competing having used feed from the batches named above.

If any riders are concerned, as a precautionary measure they should contact the Allen and Page nutrition team on 01362 822 902

In both cases leisure riders and those not competing remain unaffected.

BETA NOPS Code

Both Dodson & Horrell and Allen & Page are members of the BETA NOPS assurance scheme, designed to reduce the risk of NOPS in equine feeds, through the adoption of strict manufacturing protocols and stringent testing.

The BETA NOPS Code monitors for the presence of specified naturally occurring prohibited substances as required under the rules of racing and affiliated competitions in line with established guidelines.

Both companies have all the recommended internal processes in place to reduce the risk of this happening and are independently audited under the UFAS NOPS scheme but have unfortunately been let down by one of their suppliers.

For further information on the BETA NOPS scheme, visit the British Equestrian Trade Association at: http://www.beta-uk.org/pages/riders/feed-nops.php

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