18 Jun 2020

Medicated Feeds Legislation

The Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMR) implement the EU legislation currently in operation relating to medicated feeds and specified feed additives (SFAs) (i.e. coccidiostats, histomonostats and non-antibiotic growth promoters) used in feedingstuffs. However, the EU Regulation on the production of Medicated Feed was agreed in June 2018 and comes into force on 28 January 2022. Amongst other things, it strengthens the action to fight antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The Veterinary Medicines Agency (VMD) has produced detailed guidance for manufacturers and suppliers of medicated feeds.

Veterinary Medicines Regulations

Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013 SI 2033

The Veterinary Medicines Regulations (VMR) implement the EU legislation relating to medicated feeds and specified feed additives (SFAs) (i.e. coccidiostats, histomonostats and non-antibiotic growth promoters) used in feedingstuffs. They also implement the EU controls on veterinary medicines. Schedule 5 covers “Medicated feedingstuffs and specified feed additives.” 

Veterinary Medicines (Amendment) Regulations 2014 (SI 599) amends Schedule 5 of the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013.

General guidance on the UK Veterinary Medicines Regulations, the EU Veterinary Medicines Regulations and EU Medicated Feed and Feedingstuffs Regulations is available from the VMD.

This includes guidance for manufacturers and suppliers of medicated feeds. Specifically, this is aimed at manufacturers and suppliers of premixtures and feedingstuffs containing veterinary medicinal products (VMPs), SFAs, premixtures and feedingstuffs containing SFAs, and complementary feedingstuffs containing SFAs, as implemented in Schedule 5 of the VMR. It also includes guidance to veterinary surgeons, keepers of animals and other members of industries involved in the use of VMPs and SFAs in animal feedingstuffs.

EU Medicated Feed Regulation

EU Medicated Feed Regulation

The Regulation on the production of Medicated Feed, agreed in June 2018, is coming into force on 28 January 2022. Because of the interconnections between the two documents the regulation is part of a package with the Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulation and, in particular, as regards measures against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). 

The Medicated Feed Regulation sets proportionate technical requirements for the manufacturing of medicated feed in multipurpose feed mills, this being a key concern for both AIC and FEFAC. The restrictions on prophylactic and metaphylactic use with a view to reducing the occurrence of AMR are consistent with the political decisions made in the context of Veterinary Medicinal Products Regulation. Carry-over limits of active medicinal substances into non-target feed will be defined by the European Commission one year after the EU Regulation becomes applicable, in consultation with the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). 

During the political negotiations, AIC and FEFAC have always reminded officials both in the UK and EU that the production of medicated feed is a service provided by compound feed manufacturers to livestock farmers, based on the advice and prescription by the veterinarian. The EU institutions have recognised that medicated feed is one of the safe and legitimate ways of administrating a veterinary medicinal product to a farm animal, with its specific advantages as regards homogeneity. The administration at farm level of oral powders via ‘top dressing’ (feed route) or drinking water, a so far uncontrolled method performed by livestock farmers themselves, will come under increased scrutiny.

As part of the implementation of the Medicated Feed Regulation, the European Commission will adopt delegated and implementing acts in the coming years. The relevant documents regarding the progress of the work on this legislation will be published as they become available. In February 2020, the EFSA published the "Mandate for an EFSA scientific opinion as regards specific maximum levels of cross-contamination for 24 antimicrobial active substances in non-target feed".