The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) has welcomed the decision not to list MSM – a compound that occurs naturally in plants and is often found in horse feed – on the Equine Prohibited Substances List (EPSL).
Earlier this year, it was listed as a proposed Controlled Medication and Specified Substance for the 2024 EPSL, but following lobbying by BETA’s Feed Committee, the EPSL for 2024 has since been published without MSM’s inclusion.
“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 both equine welfare and 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, and is an internationally recognised feed material, commonly used in equine diets. It can also be formed via metabolism of methionine which, as an essential amino acid, is required in the diet of all equines. As a result, listing MSM on the prohibited list could have led to regulatory issues without pure MSM having been fed.
“We are immensely relieved that the proposed listing of MSM has been dropped and that the current status of ‘Unlisted’ is maintained,” added Claire. “It allows riders competing under FEI rules continued access to this important ingredient that plays a supportive role in protecting the sport horse from exercise related oxidative damage.”
BETA 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 percent of the UK market for equine feeds, as well as significant proportions of overseas markets.