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BETA Scores 'Non-Heating' Victory

BETA is celebrating after securing the right for feed manufacturers to continue to use the words 'non-heating' and 'cool' on packaging.

After many months of negotiations with the Food Standards Agency and LACOTS (Local Authorities Coordinating Office for Food and Trading Standards) an agreement has been reached between all parties over a definition for 'non-heating' and by inference 'cool'.

The issue over the description arose after a Trading Standards Officer in Surrey complained to several BETA members about the use of common claims which included 'non-heating' and 'cool' on the basis that they were not scientifically substantiable. The industry was concerned that should they be forced to cease using these terms, other words to describe the same effect would be developed and used or other points of reference, such as protein, may be incorrectly used by consumers seeking guidance in their purchasing decisions.

To negotiate and work out a satisfactory way forward the BETA Energy Working Party was set up, chaired by BETA Chief Executive Claire Williams.

The matter was taken up by LACOTS with BETA working alongside the organisation to develop a satisfactory definition and outcome for all concerned.

BETA Chief Executive and Secretary Claire Williams said: "We are pleased that the terminology can continue to be used legally by the equestrian feed industry"

"It has taken a lot of time and work to reach this outcome but all the effort has been very worthwhile."

In order for the terminology to be used on packaging feed manufacturers and marketers must either print the definition on the bag or include it in related literature.

The definition for both 'non-heating' that has been confirmed is:

"A non-heating feed is one that is less likely to produce excitable behaviour in some horses and ponies when fed at the recommended rate."

Added Ms Williams: "For many years now both the terms have become standard descriptions within the industry and we are very pleased that both can continue to be used. I am sure that manufacturers, retailers and consumers will all benefit from the definition which will now appear on packaging and literature."

"The process of examining how the terms should be defined has been most useful and has done much to bring the industry closer together as well as making the authorities more aware of issues particularly effecting equines. Until recently, legislation has been passed without appropriate reference to horses and the decision reached by the FSA and LACOTS can only be seen as a positive move to acknowledging that horses need to be given individual consideration."


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