Velvet Energy UK claims to be the sole UK supplier of Deer Velvet.
The supplement — made of deer’s antlers ground into a powder — is said by its marketers to bring a broad range of benefits to humans and animals.
The benefits to horses, according to Velvet Energy, include increased muscle tone, greater strength, less lactic acid build up, better immune system, more energy, shorter recovery periods after exercise, reduction of swelling over a range of conditions and soothing of old injuries.
Velvet Energy quotes research by Velvet Antler Research New Zealand Ltd (VARNZ) to support its claims.
VARNZ is a joint venture between the New Zealand deer industry and AGresearch (a NZ government-owned research group).
The antlers come from red deer. The practice is illegal in the UK.
“That law,” says Caroline Small of Velvet Energy, “comes from a time when anesthetic wasn’t used. Anesthetic is used now and the deer don’t suffer at all, so we’re trying to get the law changed.”
She adds that the supplement is suitable for vegetarians, since the animal isn’t killed.