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Four EU feed directives merge into one

The European Commission (EC) propose to modernise and simplify legislation on the marketing and use of animal feed. The proposal is intended to replace four existing directives with one regulation that will apply directly in all Member States.

Animal feed legislation is a harmonised area in the European Union (EU). The existing legislation covers:
• the labelling of additives, feed materials and compound (manufactured) feeds
• the names and descriptions of feed materials
• the permitted nutritional claims which may be made for certain types of feedingstuffs
• the authorised additives which may be incorporated in feed
• specified prohibited materials which may not be used in feed
• the maximum permitted levels of certain undesirable substances (contaminants)
The legislation is intended to safeguard both animal health and the health of consumers of animal products. Although it applies primarily to feed for farmed livestock it also covers feed for horses, farmed fish, pets, zoo and circus animals.
The legislation must also meet the needs of purchasers and users of feed (such as livestock farmers). On 5 March 2008 the European Commission published a proposal to modernise and simplify legislation on the marketing and use of animal feed. The proposal is available on the Commission's website. It is intended to replace four existing directives with one regulation which will apply directly in all Member States. This new regulation will also bring together most of the provisions of the four existing directives it will replace into one comprehensive document.
Key aspects
The regulation aims to contribute to a reduction of administrative burdens on industry by removing unnecessary labelling requirements. The key aspects of the proposed regulation are:
• repeal of the existing requirement to declare the ingredients of compound feed by their percentage weight of inclusion
• introduction of a clear demarcation between complementary feeds and premixtures
• a new requirement for compound feed labelling to declare the presence of all additives subject to a maximum inclusion rate
• stricter limits of variation for labelling declarations of analytical ingredients (protein, fibre, moisture, etc.)
• repeal of the existing requirement for a pre-market assessment of new bioprotein products
• introduction of new controls on the claims that can be made for feed products
• removal of the existing derogation for the labelling of feed materials with a moisture content of more than 50%
• introduction of a formal procedure for the addition of new entries to the list of nutritional purposes for which dietetic feeds may be promoted
• introduction of a Community Catalogue of feed materials, in place of the existing list of such materials in current legislation, and Codes of Practice for the labelling of feed.
The proposed regulation does not contain provisions on feed containing or produced from genetically modified organisms, controls on the use of feed additives, or measures to control contaminants, which are and will remain the subject of separate EC measures. Member states can amend the proposals before they become definite.
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