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Healthy fed animals – safe food

Many food crises in the past were caused by contaminated feed. Therefore feed safety is of great importance for the BVL. The BVL contributes towards coordinating the National Control Program of Feedingstuffs and coordinates EU-wide investigation and survey programmes. It checks applications for the authorisation of feed additives and dietetic feed and manages the register of approved or registered feed business operators and the register of stipulated border posts for importing certain animal feedingstuffs.


Safe animal feed is a prerequisite for safe and wholesome food derived from animals, and healthy and efficient animals. The federal states (Bundesländer) control the proper production, movement and the use of animal feed. The Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) supports the Bundesländer together with the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in the execution of such tasks.

The competent authorities of the Bundesländer carry out operational checks, in which the cleanliness and hygiene of the company and the professional know-how of the personnel as well as the adequacy of bookkeeping are verified. Accurate bookkeeping is a key element to traceability in the case of problems with a particular product. The competent authorities of the Bundesländer collect official samples within the scope of their control activities if there is a risk or indication of a hazard emanating from feed. Moreover, samples are also taken for the purpose of collecting data to determine the status of feed safety.

Controls are carried out at all stages of the animal feed chain. Included in the process are, for instance, farms, including mobile feed mills and mobile mixing plants, as well as retailers and veterinarians, manufacturers, warehouses, freightage and border entry points. In the process, feed materials, feed additives, premixes and compound feed are tested and analyzed. The controls record feed for farm animals and pets in the same way.

Long-term targets and risk-oriented National Control Programs for Feed Safety are worked out with the Bundesländer for the control of feed. The paramount objective of such control programs is to ensure an equal high standard of animal feed control in all the Bundesländer. The results of the official feed controls by the Bundesländer are compiled and evaluated by the BVL. The annual statistics are publicized on the home page of the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture (FMCFA). The BVL supports the FMCFA in coordinating the implementation of the control program for animal feed safety of the European Union in Germany.

Feed additives require an EC-authorisation before being put into market circulation or being used. The BVL takes charge of verifying and evaluating the license applications for additives in animal food submitted to the European Commission by companies from the EC Member States and from other countries. The BVL is supported in this duty by the Federal Biological Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry and the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. The result of the verification is summarized in a recommendation to the FMCFA for consultations in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, Animal Nutrition Section of the European Commission for the authorisation of feed additives. As a member of the German delegation, the BVL is an integral part of these consultations. A constantly updated list of all additives licensed for animal food is offered on the Internet by the BVL under

Certain feed materials, which directly or indirectly constitute sources of protein and which are produced through specific technical procedures, are subject to authorization in accordance with European laws. Applications for authorization have to be submitted to the European Commission by the companies. The BVL together with the Federal Biological Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry and the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment takes charge of their verification and assessment on behalf of Germany. An authorisation can be given by the European Commission upon the consent of Member States if the product has the required nutritional value and has no unfavourable impact on the animal or the food gained from it when used in the designated manner, and does not exert any negative impact on human health and on the environment.

Furthermore, the BVL contributes to the work of the Normenkommission für Einzelfuttermittel im Zentralausschuss der Deutschen Landwirtschaft which prepares the German Positive List for Feed Materials.

Feed intended for particular nutritional purposes (dietetic feed) is gaining increasing significance in the feeding of pets, but its application is also growing continuously in the feeding of farm animals. These products must have a special composition or be produced in accordance with a special procedure and are made for animals whose process of assimilation, absorption or metabolism is temporarily or irreversibly impaired. To be able to get a feeding stuff into circulation as a dietetic feeding stuff, the envisaged nutritional purpose must be listed in the annex of Directive 94/39/EC. The competent authorities of the Bundesländer for the control of animal feed thus gain an overview of which products may be distinguished as diet feed. The applications submitted to the European Commission for the inclusion of special nutritional purposes in the annex of the directive are examined and evaluated for Germany under the leadership of the BVL in coordination with the Federal Agricultural Research Centre (FAL) and the Federal Institute of Risk Assessment before they are authorized by the European Commission following the consent of the Member States. Dietetic feed shall not be hazardous to the health of man and animals nor to the environment. Moreover, it shall not be advertised as dietetic feed in a misleading manner.

Certain feed, feed additives and premixes shall be manufactured, treated or put into circulation only by approved and registered companies. The Bundesländer are responsible for approval and registration. Together with industry and the competent authorities of the Bundesländer and with the participation of industry, the BVL prepares data sheets to help the Bundesländer in the approval or registration of such companies. The index of recognized and registered companies is publicized by the BVL in the Bundesanzeiger and on the Internet.

Specific feed, feed additives and premixes that are produced in third countries can be imported into the Community through specific border posts. By limiting the number of border posts, it is ensured that monitoring the feed by specialist personnel during import is comprehensively guaranteed. The index of the German border posts is published in the Bundesanzeiger in agreement with the Federal Ministry of Finance and can be accessed via the Internet pages of the BVL. A detailed list of the specific feed, feed additives and premixes that can be imported only through specific border posts is also published by the BVL on its Internet pages.

At present this English content is the only available in the field of Feed. More English content will be provided soon. If you have any questions in the meantime, please let us know by using the contact form.

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