BETA NOPS & FEMAS- What is it and why is it important?

Our BETA NOPS and FEMAS accreditations back up our claims of excellence with evidence. Such schemes are relevant to the quality our product and directly beneficial to our customers – here’s why…

Here at Baillie Haylage we are proud to be an accredited member of the BETA NOPS & FEMAS Schemes but what does this actually mean and why is it important?

What is the BETA NOPS scheme?

The British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA) introduced the NOPS scheme in 2009 in a bid to help reduce the risk of contamination of equine feed by Naturally Occurring Prohibited Substances. The BETA NOPS Code calls for its members to evaluate the risk of NOPS contamination during each step of the manufacturing process, from field to feed sack. This includes the sourcing, storage, transport as well as the actual processing. 

As a prerequisite of becoming a member of the BETA NOPS, Baillie Haylage is also FEMAS accredited;  this is a voluntary scheme which was developed in response to demand for improved feed and food safety. Approval under the FEMAS scheme provides independent verification that Baillie Haylage is marketed legally and fairly. FEMAS is based on HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) principles, an internationally recognised system of hazard analysis which is a central requirement of Food and Feed safety legislation.

What are NOPS?

The definition of a prohibited substance is ‘any substance that can exert an effect on a horse’ which is a broad, all-encompassing definition. A naturally occurring prohibited substance (or NOPS) is one that is either naturally present within certain ingredients or that occurs as a result of inadvertent cross contamination.

The main NOPS and their sources are:

  • Caffeine – (cacao)
  • Theobromine – (cacao)
  • Theophylline – (tea)
  • Morphine – (opium poppy, Papaver somniferum)
  • Hyoscine – (nightshade, Datura)
  • Hordenine – (germinating barley)
  • Atropine – (nightshade – Atropa belladonna)
  • Nicotine – from tobacco

Why should I feed Baillie Haylage as a BETA NOPS accredited supplier?

For those competing at the top levels of equestrian sport, the benefits of using BETA NOPS accredited suppliers are clear:

  • It reduces the risk of disqualification from naturally occurring prohibited substances in feed.
  • It is one way of taking reasonable precaution to avoid a positive test through contaminated feed.

The scheme is endorsed by both the British Horseracing Authority and National Trainers Association. The British Equestrian Federation also requires all squad members to use only NOPS accredited products.

The benefits, however, go beyond those listed above and apply to all horse and pony owners and riders. By using Baillie Haylage as BETA NOPS approved supplier, you are offered a reassurance of the stringent quality management procedures that have been set in place to produce your horses forage. We are proud of our BETA NOPS accreditation as it backs up our claims of excellence with evidence. Our team work incredibly hard to meet and exceed the highest of standards in order to produce and deliver top quality 100% grass haylage. Our products are guaranteed, batch coded, analysed, and fully traceable from seed to stable. Carrying the BETA NOPS logo on our products certifies that all of our products conform to the current best practice in feed safety. 

Feed Room Best Practice

In addition to using BETA NOPS accredited suppliers, there are a number of other steps you can take to ensure equine feed is kept in best condition and free from contamination in your feed room:

  • Make sure feed/supplements come in a correctly sealed container
  • Make a note of the batch numbers for traceability
  • Keep a sample of each feed/supplement on delivery for at least 2 months after consumption in case of further investigations
  • Avoid eating, drinking and smoking in stables and feed rooms
  • Store any medicines and first aid products safely and clean any feed buckets after use if they have been used to administer medicine
  • Keep only horse and pony feed in your feed room

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