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codexalimentarius > Themes > Animal Feed

Animal Feed

Good animal feeding plays a vital role in animal health & welfare and in the production of safe and quality products of animal origin. The increasing demand for proteins of animal origin has led to intensification of livestock production, mainly based on the use of industrial compound feed. This has led to an increasing use of selected feed grains and fodder seeds, pesticides and fertilizers, new and unconventional materials in the production of feed such as biofuel by-products and several others agro-industrial by-products. In the past years, several contamination episodes have raised attention on the importance of ensuring feed safety and on the need to prevent and control the presence of old and new hazards, such as dioxin, aflatoxins and other undesirable substances.

The role of Codex in Animal Feed

The link between safe feed and safe food is now well recognized; in particular the modern approach to food safety identifies measures to minimize and prevent and the entry of hazards at the early stages of the production chain, including the primary production of the feed grains and fodder. This has led to a greater awareness of the primary producers, including the farmers and the feed sector to their contribution and responsibility to the production of safe and quality food.

Recognizing the importance of animal feeding to the production of safe food, Codex has established two dedicated Task Forces, which have developed texts aiming at providing guidance to governments on good animal feeding practice and on the conduct of risk assessment and prioritization of hazards in feed. Work relevant to animal feed is also carried out in other Codex committees when this impact of food safety in relation to contaminants, residues of pesticides and veterinary drugs, food hygiene and inspection and certification.

Codex work on animal feeding only addresses food safety and does not cover those issues of animal welfare, other than food safety related animal health issues. Environmental contaminants are considered where the level of such substances in the feed and feed ingredients could present a risk to consumer health from the consumption of foods of animal origin. Mainstreaming animal feeding aspects in the work of Codex is an explicit recognition of the role and responsibility of the feed sector to the production of safe and quality food.

Related Codex Texts

Reference Title Committee Last modified
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CAC/MISC 4-1989Classification of Foods and Animal FeedsCCPR1993
CAC/RCP 45-1997Code of Practice for the Reduction of Aflatoxin B1 in Raw Materials and Supplemental Feedingstuffs for Milk-Producing AnimalsCCCF1997
CAC/RCP 54-2004Code of Practice on Good Animal FeedingTFAF2008
CAC/GL 81-2013Guidance for Governments on Prioritizing Hazards in FeedTFAF2013
CAC/GL 80-2013Guidelines on the Application of Risk Assessment for FeedTFAF2013

News

Managing the risk of veterinary drug transfer through feed to food

Medicated feed is one important route for administering veterinary medicinal products to animals, in particular to animals intended for food production. It can be difficult to administer a veterinary drug to an animal, especially in the case of smaller species typically reared in large groups such as a flock of birds or a school of fish where there would be hundreds of animals that all need to be treated at the same time. The use of medicated feed provides an simple, [...]
24 January 2019

Tailored animal nutrition and feed strategies can lead to a significant reduction in antimicrobial usage

The role of animal nutrition and feed strategies and options for reducing the need to use antimicrobials in animal production was highlighted in a side event during a meeting of the Ad hoc Codex Intergovernmental Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance that took place in Busan, Republic of Korea, from 10 to 14 December 2018. The speakers summarized the current state of the art and recent insights on how diets, gut health and the immune system interact and could contribute to disease [...]
02 January 2019

FAO/WHO call for experts, stakeholders and data related to residues in feed

FAO and WHO are currently seeking experts, stakeholders and data related to the carry-over from feed to food of unavoidable and unintended residues of approved veterinary drugs. The three calls have been issued in preparation of the FAO/WHO Stakeholder Meeting on 7 January 2019 and the Expert Consultation Meeting on 8 to 11 January 2019 in Rome, Italy. The 23rd Codex Committee on Residue of Veterinary Drugs in Food has requested FAO and WHO to provide scientific advice to address the [...]
10 August 2018
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Key Facts

  • The consumption of animal products continues to rise worldwide and will continue doing so over the decades to come - driving up demand for animal feed products.
  • Feed safety impacts not just the health of animals but also that of producers, handlers and consumers.
  • The Codex Code of Practice on good Animal Feeding establishes a feed safety system for food producing animals which covers the whole food chain.