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It's fly time we stay healthy this Summer!
Feature: Horse Scene  May 2007
It’s almost time for those flies, midges and other little biters to rear their ugly heads again just in time to make our (and our horses’) Summer a misery! But, just before you venture out on the annual trip to buy your trusty fly repellent to keep the little critters at bay, there are some things you need to know in order to keep you and your horse safe from potential allergies and ill-health.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Control of Pesticides Regulations relating to fly repellent were drawn up in November 2003 and came into effect way back in September last year, but the majority of horse owners will not really have had much fly-bashing to do since then, and the rules may have passed them by.

These regulations outlaw the sale of any fly repellent, for use on your horse, containing prohibited ingredients where they form an active part of the formulation – Citronella Oil, Eucalyptus Oil and Lavender Oil are just some of the prohibited ingredients, but these are banned only when they are used to perform an active part of the formulation. All fly repellents for use on horses, must be fully licensed by the HSE before sale.

The best selling fly repellent range in Scotland – where the midges are particularly mean – is produced by IV Horse. Where designated for use on your horse, IV Horse fly repellent is fully licenced by the HSE and uses only approved ingredients as the active component in the formulation. Certain other ingredients which can and are used in the range are used as ‘marker’ or carrier ingredients, primarily to help in application and to ensure even coverage. The Lemune Oil, for instance, in the IV Horse Lemune Plus version enables you to smell and see where the fly repellent has been applied to the skin.

All licensed products will have a licence number clearly stated on the bottle, along with all other statutory information required by law. This will be detailed in a box of information on the front or rear of the product. Be careful not to purchase any fly repellent that does not display this information and help the HSE by reporting any unlicensed products seen offered for sale at www.hse.co.uk.

So ask your retailer about the licensed fly repellents they have for sale, or be your own expert – visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/pesticides/bluebook/section07.pdf for a full list of HSE approved fly repellents and keep your horse healthily fly-free this summer!

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