Control of Manufacture

The manufacture for sale of animal feedingstuffs is officially controlled. Manufacturers are required to be either approved or registered depending on their activity.

To ensure that compounders comply with the required legislation and that products conform to the label declarations on the content of specified constituents, manufacturers’ premises are regularly inspected by officers of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and production records are examined. Samples of manufactured products are taken at production points, at retailers’ premises and on farms and sent to the State Laboratory for analysis. Producers who persist in breaching the regulations governing the manufacture of compound feeds may be prosecuted.

Labelling Requirements

In the case of all feedingstuffs, the seller is obliged to give the purchaser a statutory statement. In the case of feedingstuffs in bags, the statement is either printed on the bag or on a label attached to the bag; in the case of bulk deliveries, it must be given on a document accompanying each consignment.

For each consignment of compound feedingstuff, the purchaser should obtain a statement showing:
• The species of animal for which the feed is intended;
• A list of ingredients in descending order by weight contained in the feedingstuff;
• Minimum storage life;
• Net weight;
• A declaration of composition characteristics;
• The name and address of the manufacturer or supplier;
• The approval/registration number of the manufacturer.

Restriction on the Use of Certain Proteins

There is a total ban on the feeding of animal proteins to farmed animals. Farmed animals are kept, fattened or bred for the production of food. This restriction also applies to fishmeal and to dicalcium phosphate derived from defatted bones, except where authorised under EU Regulation (EC) No. 999 of 2001. All those who wish to import, store, incorporate or trade fishmeal or dicalcium phosphate must be authorised under the above Regulation.

Feed Hygiene

EU Regulation (EC) No. 183 of 2005 laying down the requirements for feed hygiene applies to all feed business operators from 1 January 2006. This ‘farm to fork’ approach means that it applies to all businesses including the primary production of feed materials and also the handling, transport, manufacture, marketing and use of animal feeds. The regulations aim to ensure that all involved take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of feed.

The key elements of the regulation are as follows:
• All feed business operators are required to be approved or registered for their activities. This includes all farmers who keep livestock and /or grow crops which may be fed to livestock (Primary Producers);
• Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles to be adopted by all operators other than for primary production of feed and the feeding of farmed animals;
• Application of good agricultural practice at the level of primary production of feed materials and the feeding of farmed animals;
• Operators must source feed from approved or registered operators.

Additives in Feedingstuffs

EU additive regulations lay down specific rules for the assessment, putting into circulation and use of additives in feedingstuffs. Only additives authorised in accordance with EU legislation may be put into circulation and they may only be used if incorporated in feedingstuffs under the conditions set out in the authorisation regulation. In the case of feedingstuffs, which contain fat-soluble vitamins and coccidiostats, farmers must be supplied with appropriate details such as name, inclusion level and expiry date of the guarantee of that level and also conditions of use, e.g. withdrawal period before slaughter.

Undesirable Substances

Maximum permitted levels for the more common types of undesirable substances found in feedingstuffs are laid down in Directive 2002/32/EC as amended. These substances include dioxins, heavy metals, aflatoxin B1, gossypol, toxic weed seeds, etc.

Nutritional Value

The statement of the level of crude protein, crude oil, crude fibre, crude ash and moisture content where it equals or exceeds 14% etc., is a guide to the nutritional value of the feed- ingstuff and should be carefully considered when purchasing feed.


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Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

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