Animal feed plays an important part in the food chain and has implications for the composition and quality of the livestock products (milk, meat and eggs) that people consume. The Food Standards Agency is responsible for drawing up the rules on the composition and marketing of animal feed.
The Agency's main aims in this area are to help protect consumer and animal health. Another aim is to ensure that those buying the feed are provided with sufficient information to allow them to make informed choices.
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Legislation on animal feed is harmonised at European Union (EU) level. It applies principally to feed for farmed livestock, but also covers feed for horses, pets, farmed fish, zoo and circus animals, and creatures living freely in the wild.
Under the EU Feed Hygiene Regulation (183/2005), there is a system for the approval and registration of feed business establishments (premises) that manufacture, market, distribute or use animal feeds, including feed additives.
Guidance on the assessment and authorisation of GM varieties for use in animal feed, the source and quantities of GMOs imported for use in feed, and associated data.
In November 2012, the FSA Board agreed to the recommendation that the FSA should make improvements to the current local authority delivery system. This open Board meeting decision followed the completion of a review of official animal feed controls. To implement the improvements, the Feed Review Implementation Programme has been created, and outcomes are due for delivery by April 2014.
Animal feeding practices have developed over time, and have generally been validated by their use.