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Feedingstuff Microscopy Laboratory (FML)

Introduction

Welcome to the Feedingstuff Microscopy Laboratory. The FML has been designated as the National Reference Laboratory for the detection of animal protein in feedingstuff under Article 33 of Regulation 882/2004.

Following public concerns on the high incidence of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), also known as `Mad Cow Disease', and its links with the fatal human brain disease new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (nvCJD), procedures were established whereby all animal feedingstuffs were screened for the presence of animal protein (AP) which is believed to harbour the disease and therefore be responsible for its spread within domesticated animals destined for human consumption. The supplementation of animal feedingstuffs with processed offal as a source of protein was wide spread up until 1994 when the practice was banned (Commission Decision 94/381/EC).  In order to enforce this ban, microscopic examination of feedingstuffs was begun.  It has been found that minute quantities of animal proteins are capable of inducing BSE in animals.  In addition, because many feedingstuffs contain ingredients from outside the EU, it was important to examine the feedingstuff for contamination by animal proteins. 

Services provided

The Laboratory performs tests on feedingstuff samples supplied by other Divisions within DAFF and by outside organisations. Tests to determine the presence of AP in feedingstuffs are accredited to the ISO 17025 standard. Please contact the Laboratory for further information on the submission of samples of feedingstuffs for analysis. A fee may be charged for this service.

Useful links

Contact us

Feedingstuff Microscopy Laboratory (FML),
DAFM Laboratories,
Backweston,
Celbridge,
Co. Kildare,
W23 X3PH.