Natural horse products and therapeutic claims

11 August 2017

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) would like to offer further information regarding our recent media release Retailers advised not to horse around with unregistered veterinary chemical products’.

The purpose of this additional information is to confirm that the APVMA has seen an increase in the number of veterinary horse products claiming to be natural, organic or chemical free that are not APVMA registered.

The APVMA recognises that a range of legitimate horse products are available in Australia that do not require registration. Horse products that do not make therapeutic claims and those expressly excluded from regulation, like excluded nutritional digestives (END), do not require APVMA registration.

However, import surveillance undertaken between November 2016 and May 2017, revealed that over 17 per cent of those agvet products inspected at the border were found to be unregistered horse products and therefore illegal to import and supply in Australia.

These products in some instances made therapeutic claims to alleviate or treat conditions in horses (i.e. laminitis, colic), or claim to enhance the physical qualities of your horse (i.e. performance enhancing).

Veterinary horse products that make these types of claims fit the legal definition of a veterinary chemical product and require APVMA registration.

Recent advice issued to retailers and consumers by the APVMA is intended to raise awareness of how people can identify when a product should be registered, where to find the APVMA approval number on the product and how to report potential non-compliance. 

If business owners or consumers have concerns about a particular horse product they should discuss those concerns with their supplier or retailer.

Learn more about natural veterinary horse products and your responsibilities at www.apvma.gov.au/horse-products

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