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10. Feedingstuff/Controls

CONTROL OF MANUFACTURE

The manufacture for sale of compound feedingstuffs and mineral mixtures for animal feeding is officially controlled. Manufacturers require 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, Fisheries and Food 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 or mineral mixtures 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;
  • Directions for use;
  • 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. 999/2001. All those who wish to import, store, incorporate or trade fishmeal or dicalcium phosphate must be authorised under the above Regulation.

Application forms for authorisation to use any of these proteins may be obtained from Crop Policy, Production and Safety Division, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Administration Building, Backweston, Co. Kildare Tel: 01 5058772

FEED HYGIENE

EU Regulation (EC) No. 183/2005 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);
  • 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.

Application forms for approval or registration under the above legislation can be obtained from Crop Policy, Production and Safety Division, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Administration Building, Backweston, Co. Kildare Tel: 01 505 8812

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.

Application forms for approval or registration under the above legislation can be obtained from Crop Policy, Production and Safety Division, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Administration Building, Backweston, Co. Kildare. Tel: 01 5058772

UNDESIRABLE SUBSTANCES

Maximum permitted levels for the more common types of undesirable substances found in feedingstuffs are laid down. These substances include dioxins, heavy metals, aflatoxin, 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 feedingstuff and should be carefully considered when purchasing feed.

SAMPLING AND ANALYSIS SERVICE TO FARMERS

A farmer who has purchased a feedingstuff may apply to have a sample taken and analysed officially for confirmation that the particulars given by the seller under EU legislation are correct. Applications, accompanied by the relevant fee for each analysis required, should be made to the Department's Crop Policy, Production and Safety Division within sixty days of delivery of the feedingstuff to which the application relates. Samples should not be sent with the application, as the law requires that sampling be carried out in a prescribed manner by an authorised officer. It is essential that bags which are unopened and which have been stored in a satisfactory manner should be available for sampling, and in the case of bulk deliveries adequate information should be available to satisfy the officer that the feedingstuff in question is from a specific consignment and has been stored in a suitable manner.

Further details can be obtained from Crop Policy, Production and Safety Division, Administration Building, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Backweston Campus, Celbridge, Co. Kildare. Tel: 01 505 8772