Animal Health & Welfare

Feed hygiene for farmers and growers

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 and provisions to help ensure that feeds can be traced and recalled in the event of a feed safety incident.

It requires feed businesses to be registered or approved 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 pre-mixtures

Who is covered?
With few exceptions the legislation applies to all feed businesses, which are defined as: 'any undertaking, whether for profit or not and whether public or private, carrying out any operation of production, manufacture, processing, storage or distribution of feed including any producer producing, processing or storing feed for feeding to animals on his own holding'.

Primary production of feed is defined 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.

Examples include:

  • feed manufacturers
  • feed importers
  • sellers of feed
  • feed transporters
  • storers of feed
  • food companies selling co-products 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 whereby any feed business with an existing registration on an official scheme such as Organic Entry Level Stewardship or with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) was considered as already registered under this legislation. However, this no longer applies. All feed businesses need to register with their local authority under the EU Regulation (EC) No 183/2005 (for exemptions see below).

Please see the attached:
Application form (Word 15KB)
Application form (PDF 179KB)
Approval and registration activities document (PDF 166KB)

There are some farm-related activities that fall outside of the scope of the legislation and include:

  • 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 must 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 (such as farms). 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 pre-mixtures 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, record-keeping and also requires a HACCP plan to be implemented
  • annex III. This applies to farmers who are feeding food producing animals.

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 involved in primary production or the feeding of livestock only will not be required to apply HACCP (excluding those which 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 materials and premixtures which are intentionally added to feed or water in order to perform one or more of the following functions:

  • favourably affect the characteristics of feed
  • favourable 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 feeding stuffs, 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 provisions of the Feed (Hygiene and Enforcement) (Wales) Regulations 2005 is committing an offence. Each offence attracts a fine of up to £5,000 and/or three months' imprisonment on summary conviction. On conviction on indictment each offence attracts a fine and/or up to two years' imprisonment.

Please note
This leaflet is not an authoritative interpretation of the law and is intended only for guidance. Any legislation referred to, while still current, may have been amended from the form in which it was originally enacted. Please contact us for further information.

Relevant legislation
Feed (Hygiene and Enforcement) (Wales) Regulations 2005
EU Regulation (EC) No 183/2005 laying down requirements for feed hygiene

Last reviewed/updated: December 2013

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