The Department of Agriculture carried out a total of 1,154 inspections on 773 animal feed businesses in 2015.

As part of this inspection programme, 955 legal notices were issued to Feed Business Operators for infringements under the Feed Hygiene and Feed Marketing legislation.

Infringements associated with HACCP procedures accounted for the majority of legal notices, totalling 70%.

Labelling infringements represented 10% while infringements relating to hygiene accounted for 6% and traceability for 6% of the total. The remaining 8% of infringements corresponded to various other aspects of feed production.

According to the Department, all infringements notified to FBOs were recorded, followed up and resolved. None of the 955 infringements notified during inspections were deemed to be serious from a feed / food safety perspective.

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Meanwhile, a total of 1,390 samples of animal feed were taken from feed business operators and sent for various analyses in 2015.

There were 475 cases where the analytical results were found to be outside the tolerance levels. None of the products tested out of tolerance were deemed serious from a feed / food safety perspective.

All analytical infringements, including the aforementioned, have been recorded, followed up and resolved as part of the inspection process.

The Department has said that overall, the feed industry is very aware of its obligations in relation to feed and food safety legislative requirements and have invested heavily in systems to ensure that standards are met.

What’s The Law?

EU Regulations govern the placing on the market and use of animal feed and requires that manufacturers of animal feed ensure that the product is sound, genuine, unadulterated, fit for purpose and of merchantable quality.

In addition, the regulation provides that the labelling and presentation of animal feed shall not mislead the user as to, inter alia, its composition, properties, nature or method of manufacture.

Furthermore, it lists permitted tolerances for the compositional labelling of feed materials or compound feed.

Accordingly, feed manufacturers are required to set out clearly on a label the composition of the animal feed for sale, within the permitted tolerances.