Animal Feed Legislation - Part 4

Written by Anna Hardcastle, Nutritionist.

Animal feed is governed by EU legislation which specifies requirements on hygiene during production, and then requirements on marketing, use and labelling of different feeds and ingredients including genetically modified feeds. Other legislation lists maximum limits for coccidiostats, pesticides, mycotoxins, heavy metals and dioxins. Over the past 3 weeks I have been designing a new compound feed for broiler chickens and addressing common questions asked to ensure the product is legally compliant:
Are there any undesirable substances relevant to my ingredients and finished feed?

Undesirable substances in animal feed are listed with maximum limits in Directive 2002/32/EC on undesirable substances in animal feed. This has been amended several times with updated limits for dioxins and PCBs (Regulation 277/2012), arsenic, lead, fluorine, mercury, diclazuril, lasalocid sodium, Ambrosia Spp and endosulfan (Regulation 744/2012), and nitrite, melamine and carryover of certain coccidiostats and histomonostats (Regulation 574/2011). A consolidated version of Directive 2002/32/EC will list these amendments.

I know that narasin is a coccidiostat, so I can check Regulation 574/2011:
Answer: Narasin has a carryover limit and I must take this into account when planning my production sequence for follow-on products.

For copper, wheat, limestone and compound feeds the regulations might not name these individually but I must check each regulation to see if there are maximum levels of the different undesirable substances:
It is also important to note Commission Recommendation 17 August 2006 on the presence of deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, ochratoxin A, T-2 and HT-2 and fumonsins in products intended for animal feeding. As this is a recommendation rather than a regulation, the levels in it are guidance levels rather than legal limits. The document includes cereals and cereal by-products, maize and maize by-products, and complementary and complete feedingstuffs for different animals.

Pesticides, in particular organochlorine compounds, are listed with maximum limits in section IV of Regulation 574/2011. Where there is no maximum level set for a pesticide, Regulation 396/2005 on maximum residue limits of pesticides in or on food and feed of plant and animal origin unless different limits have been set for a particular pesticide compound or are not required.

Answer: I can use these limits for these undesirable substances when I write my HACCP study, product feed safety risk assessments, operating procedures and QC testing schedule.

Next week: How do I label my product?


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