Let Your Voice Be Heard

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In March 2002, we told you that our access to nutraceuticals and herbals for animals is in jeopardy. Although this wasn’t the first time we discussed this issue, it was the first time we decided the threat was imminent. Since that March article, many others have joined in the fight to save these products, which is needed to get legislative action.

However, we’ve also noted a large amount of misinformation and denial on Internet websites, especially in the forum areas. For this reason, we’ve placed our “Contraband In The Barn” article on our website under “sample” articles, so that everyone can read the article for free, subscriber or not.

For those still unaware, any herbal ingredient or nutraceutical that is not currently approved as a “feed” or a drug ingredient is illegal for sale. Action could be taken to force manufacturers to remove these products from the market if we ignore the situation. It’s already happened in Texas. We believe the best solution is for animal herbals and nutraceuticals to be included under the provisions of the 1994 Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act (DSHEA), which allows the sale of the same products for human use.

At the time of this writing, it’s unclear whether government agencies will target a certain species or a certain supplement ingredient or go across the board with enforcement. However, many manufacturers were warned by state regulatory officials to cease production last year, and the guidelines for beginning enforcement are in place. Some manufacturers are actively involved in the fight, but it’s time for the consumer to get involved.

The DSHEA was drafted and enacted due to a massive influx of letters from concerned citizens, not the FDA backing down or manufacturers lobbying. The bill had so many co-sponsors it didn’t even need to go up for a vote. If your elected officials hear from enough voters, they’ll listen. Encourage all your pet-owning friends to get involved as well, as this action affects dogs and cats, too. Even prescription diets for pets with chronic urinary tract infections and the like may be targeted.

We’ve devised a simple sample letter you can copy and send. Tell your friends. Get a petition circulating with loads of signatures. You can make a difference. Concentrate your efforts on your state’s governor, senators and congressmen.

Contact the American Horse Council for sure, which is your lobbying body in Washington, D.C. You can reach them at 202/296-4031 or write to them at 1700 K Street, NW, Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20006. The website www.horsecouncil.org, also includes good information on the proper way to contact your elected officials.

Also With This Article
Click here to view ”Don’t Think It Will Affect Your Horse'”
Click here to view ”Sample Letter.”