The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) has welcomed news that the International Federation for Equestrian Sports' (FEI) has decided to remove MSM – dimethyl sulphone – from its equine prohibited substances list.
The move follows extensive lobbying by BETA, which opposed the listing and proposals to classify MSM as a controlled medication and specified substance from 2018.
“The BETA Feed Committee provided extensive technical evidence to support our belief that defining MSM in this way could have had a significant and potentially negative impact on the industry,” said BETA executive director Claire Williams. “We are delighted that our challenge proved compelling enough for the FEI to reconsider its decision and change the list.”
MSM is an organic sulphur compound that occurs naturally in plants such as maize, oats, apples and alfalfa. It has been used in both human and animal nutrition since the 1980s and is commonly used in equine diets, where it is widely fed at rates of up to 24g a day to horses competing under FEI rules without regulatory incident.
“We believe that there might have been a level of confusion surrounding this substance and we are immensely relieved that the issue has been addressed by the FEI,” added Claire Williams.
The British Equestrian Trade Association represents the interests of more than 800 member companies engaged in the manufacture, distribution and retailing of equestrian-related products. While representing all aspects of the equestrian industry, BETA’s membership is responsible for 90% of the UK market for equine feeds, as well as significant proportions of overseas markets.