Our Advice Sheets
Feed hygiene for farmers & growers
The hygiene of feed production and record keeping are critical to the traceability of feedingstuffs
This guidance is for England
EU Regulation (EC) No 183/2005 laying down requirements for feed hygiene is aimed at ensuring that controls throughout the feed chain are strengthened. In particular, it contains:
- controls in relation to feed businesses' operational standards provisions
- provisions to help ensure that feed is transported and stored in hygienic conditions, and records are kept allowing full traceability of feed
The Regulation requires feed businesses to be approved or registered with their local authority.
In the guide
- Who is covered?
- Conditions for feed businesses to which the legislation applies
- Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)
- Definitions of feed additives and premixtures
- Further requirements
Who is covered?
With few exceptions the legislation applies to all feed businesses, which are defined in EU Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 as: 'any undertaking, whether for profit or not and whether public or private, carrying out any operation of production, manufacture, processing, storage, transport or distribution of feed including any producer producing, processing or storing feed for feeding to animals on his own holding'.
Examples of feed businesses include:
- feed manufacturers
- feed importers
- sellers of feed
- feed transporters
- storers of feed
- food companies selling co-products or surplus food for use in feed
- pet food manufacturers
- livestock farms, fish farms or arable farms growing and using or selling crops for feed use
There was a transitional arrangement when the legislation was implemented that if any feed business, or other part of the business, was registered with an official scheme then it would not need to register again. For example, food businesses selling co-products for use as animal feed that were already registered under EU Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs, or farms registered under official schemes such as Organic Entry Level Stewardship or with other agencies such as the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). However, this no longer applies.
EU Regulation (EC) No 183/2005 laying down requirements for feed hygiene requires feed businesses to be approved or registered with their local authority, as appropriate, and they must not operate without such registration / approval. See the Food Standards Agency website for how to apply for approval or registration and see below for exemptions.
There are some farm-related activities that fall outside of the scope of the legislation:
- the private domestic production of feed for food-producing animals kept for private domestic consumption and for animals not kept for food production
- the feeding of food-producing animals kept for private domestic consumption
- the feeding of animals not kept for food production
- the direct supply of small quantities of primary production of feed at local level by a producer to local farms for use on those farms
- the direct supply, by the producer, of small quantities of primary products to local retail establishments directly supplying the final consumer (farms, for example)
- the retailing of pet food
(With regard to the term 'small quantities of primary production', a working definition is less than 20 tonnes per annum.)
Conditions for feed businesses to which the legislation applies
The legislation contains various conditions that feed businesses have to comply with, as appropriate. These are split into three annexes, as follows:
- annex I. This covers provisions applicable to businesses involved in primary production of feed*. It includes general hygiene and record-keeping requirements
- annex II. This applies to businesses operating other than at the level of primary production - for example, mixing feeds on farm with additives, using premixtures or manufacturing a compound feed to place on the market. It contains standards in relation to facilities and equipment, personnel, quality control, storage and transport, and record-keeping
- annex III. This is a code on feeding food-producing animals, which livestock farmers have to comply with
[*'Primary production of feed' is defined in EU Regulation (EC) 183/2005 as: 'the production of agricultural products, including in particular growing, harvesting, milking, rearing of animals (prior to their slaughter) or fishing resulting exclusively in products which do not undergo any other operation following their harvest, collection or capture, apart from simple physical treatment'.]
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)
The legislation requires feed businesses that fall within the scope of annex II to put in place and operate procedures based on the principles of HACCP. HACCP is a system of safety management based on the prevention of feed and food safety problems. It provides a documented, structured approach to ensuring food safety and places a requirement on businesses to identify, manage and control hazards inherent in the handling and production process.
Feed businesses that are only involved in primary production or the feeding of livestock will not be required to apply a documented HACCP (excluding those that buy in and use feed additives or premixtures).
Definitions of feed additives and premixtures
'Feed additives' means substances, micro-organisms or preparations, other than feed material and premixtures, that are intentionally added to feed or water in order to perform, in particular, one or more of the following functions:
- favourably affect the characteristics of feed
- favourably affect the characteristics of animal products
- favourably affect the colour of ornamental fish and birds
- satisfy the nutritional needs of animals
- favourably affect the environmental consequences of animal production
- favourably affect animal production, performance or welfare, particularly by affecting the gastro-intestinal flora or digestibility of feedingstuffs
- have a coccidiostatic or histomonostatic effect
'Premixtures' means mixtures of feed additives or mixtures of one or more feed additives with feed materials or water used as carriers, not intended for direct feeding to animals.
Please note this guidance does not cover arrangements for the approval of premises, manufacturing, selling or using coccidiostats, histomonostats and growth promoters or the incorporation, distribution and use of veterinary medicines in premixtures and feedingstuffs, all of which are covered by separate legislation enforced by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) (01932 336911).
Any person who fails to comply with the Animal Feed (Hygiene, Sampling etc and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2015 is committing an offence. The maximum penalty on conviction is an unlimited fine and/or two years' imprisonment.
- EU Regulation (EC) No 183/2005 laying down requirements for feed hygiene
- Animal Feed (Hygiene, Sampling etc and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2015
This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.
The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation. Information on amendments to UK legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab; amendments to EU legislation are usually incorporated into the text. Amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Please contact us for further information.
Last reviewed/updated: April 2015
Medway Council, Trading Standards Team,
Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TR
Telephone: 01634 333555 Fax: 01634 332006
Electronic Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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