NOPS scheme set to become stand-alone code
5 October 2015
The highly successful NOPS scheme, set up in 2009 to help reduce the risk of naturally occurring prohibited substances in equine feed, is set for key administration changes that will see it continue to grow and develop its international presence. From February 2016, the scheme, currently run as an appendix to the Agricultural Industries Confederation’s (AIC) UFAS/FEMAS Code (Universal Feed Assurance Scheme/Feed Materials Assurance Scheme), will become a stand-alone code run solely the British Equestrian Trade Association (BETA).
As part of the review process that accompanies the change, the list of naturally occurring prohibited substances(NOPS) is likely to be amended with additions and one notable deletion to the list of substances currently being considered. The final list will be published following discussions with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).
Chris Gordon, chairman of the BETA NOPS Working Party, said that: “Although the assurance schemes with NOPS as an appendix had been a great success, the revised NOPS Code controlled fully by BETA will better serve both existing and future BETA NOPS companies and enable the trade association to grow and expand the code internationally.”
All companies wishing to be audited to the BETA NOPS Scheme in future will have to evidence accreditation to one of the recognised HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) based assurance schemes, a list of which will be provided by BETA in due course. It is expected that the scheme will continue to be audited by Kiwa PAI – one of Europe’s leading accredited food product certifiers. The current NOPS Appendix will continue to operate normally until the new code is issued.
Andy Hallington, chairman of the UFAS Working Group, said: “The new relationship between AIC Feed Safety Schemes and the BETA NOPS Code is a sign of how far we have come since the appendix was first published. Separating the control of NOPS into a stand-alone scheme allows AIC and BETA to concentrate their efforts in their respective areas of expertise.”
Feed assurance schemes can play an important role in keeping prohibited substances at bay and many equine feeds and supplements are accredited to the BETA NOPS assurance schemes.
BETA executive director Claire Williams added: “Since the BETA NOPS Code was introduced, a number of potentially serious incidents of contamination by naturally occurring prohibited substances have been averted or contained and the supply chain for feed ingredients has become more transparent. The decision to make BETA’s NOPS scheme a code in its own right can only serve to strengthen what is already an extremely effective system.”
Contact: Deborah Hayward, BETA Press Officer
Telephone: 01937 582111/01765 635314
Contact: Geoff Dodgson, for AIC
Telephone: 07710 379561