Category Archives: Food safety

The objective of the European Union’s food safety policy is to protect consumer health and interests while guaranteeing the smooth operation of the single market. In order to achieve this objective, the EU ensures that control standards are established and adhered to as regards food and food product hygiene, animal health and welfare, plant health and preventing the risk of contamination from external substances. It also lays down rules on appropriate labelling for these foodstuffs and food products. This policy underwent reform in the early 2000s, in line with the approach ‘From the Farm to the Fork’, thereby guaranteeing a high level of safety for foodstuffs and food products marketed within the EU, at all stages of the production and distribution chains. This approach involves both food products produced within the European Union and those imported from third countries.

Food safety: general provisions
General and institutional provisions, Research
Veterinary checks, animal health rules, food hygiene
The hygiene package, Intra-community trade, Production and placing on the market
Animal nutrition
Offical controls, Additives, Genetically modified feedingstuffs, Animal waste and pathogenic agents
Animal welfare
Livestock farming, Transportation, Slaughter
Animal health
BSE, Foot and mouth disease, Swine fevers, Avian influence
Plant health checks
Phytopharmaceutical products, Pesticide residues, Harmful organisms
Contamination and environmental factors
Chemical products, Substances with a hormonal effect, Contact with foodstuffs, GMOs, Radioactive contamination
International dimension and enlargement
International cooperation, Enlargement
Specific themes
GMOs, BSE, Foot and mouth disease

European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes

European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Animal welfare

European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 78/923/EEC of 19 June 1978 concerning the conclusion of the European Convention for the protection of animals kept for farming purposes.

Council Decision 92/583/EEC of 14 December 1992 on the conclusion of the Protocol of amendment to the European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes.

Summary

This Convention applies to animals reared or kept for the production of food, wool, skin or fur or for other farming purposes, including animals resulting from genetic modifications or new genetic combinations. It concerns, in particular, animals kept in intensive stock-farming systems.

The aim of the Convention is to protect farm animals against any unnecessary suffering or injury caused by their housing, the feed they are given or the care they receive. In order to achieve that objective, those countries that have signed the Convention must comply with certain rules concerning, among other thing, farming premises (space and the environment), feed, animal health and the organisation of inspections of the technical installations used in modern intensive stock-farming systems.

The Convention creates a Standing Committee to monitor its application. The Committee may draw up and adopt recommendations to the signatory countries.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 78/923/EEC

19.6.1978

OJ L 323, 17.11.1978

Decision 92/583/EEC

14.12.1992

OJ L 395, 31.12.1992

Related Acts

General Directive concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes

Council Directive 98/58/EC [Official Journal L 221 of 8.8.1998].
This Directive lays down general rules on the protection of animals, of whatever species, including fish, reptiles and amphibians, reared for the production of food, wool, skin or fur or for other farming purposes.

Directives specific to certain species

Hens
Council Directive 1999/74/EC [Official Journal L 203 of 3.8.1999].

Calves
Council Directive 2008/119/EC [Official Journal L 10 of 15.1.2009].

Pigs
Council Directive 2008/120/EC [Official Journal L 47 of 18.2.2009].

Protection of farmed animals

Protection of farmed animals

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Protection of farmed animals

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Animal welfare

Protection of farmed animals

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 98/58/EC of 20 July 1998 concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes [See amending act(s)].

Summary

All the Member States have ratified the European Convention for the Protection of Animals Kept for Farming Purposes, the main provisions of which relate to the provision of housing, feed and care appropriate to the needs of these animals.

Member States must take account of these animal welfare requirements when drawing up and implementing European legislation, especially in the area of agricultural policy.

Animals

This Directive applies to animals (including fish, reptiles and amphibians) reared or kept for the production of food, wool, skin or fur or for other farming purposes. It does not apply to:

  • wild animals;
  • animals intended for use in sporting or cultural events (shows);
  • experimental or laboratory animals;
  • invertebrate animals.

Rearing conditions

The Member States must adopt provisions to ensure that the owners or keepers of animals look after the welfare of their animals and see that they are not caused any unnecessary pain, suffering or injury. Based on past experience and present scientific knowledge, the rearing conditions relate to the following:

  • staff: animals must be looked after by a sufficient number of staff who have the appropriate professional skills, knowledge and competence;
  • inspections: all animals kept in husbandry systems must be inspected at least once a day. Injured or ill animals must be treated immediately and isolated if necessary in suitable premises;
  • maintaining records: the owner or keeper of the animals must keep a record of any medical treatment for at least three years;
  • freedom of movement: all animals, even if tethered, chained or confined, must be given enough space to move without unnecessary suffering or injury;
  • buildings and accommodation: materials used in the construction of buildings must be capable of being cleaned and disinfected. Air circulation, dust levels, temperature and relative humidity should be kept within acceptable limits. Animals kept in buildings must not be kept in permanent darkness or constantly exposed to artificial lighting;
  • automatic or mechanical equipment: automatic or mechanical equipment essential for the health and well-being of the animals must be inspected at least once a day. Where an artificial ventilation system is in use, an appropriate backup system must be in place to guarantee sufficient air renewal;
  • feed, water and other substances: the animals must be given a wholesome and appropriate diet, fed to them in sufficient quantities and at regular intervals. All other substances are prohibited, unless given for therapeutic or prophylactic reasons or for the purposes of zootechnical treatment. In addition, the feeding and watering equipment must minimise the risks of contamination;
  • mutilations: national rules on mutilation apply;
  • rearing methods: rearing methods that cause suffering or injury must not be used unless their impact is minimal, brief or expressly allowed by the national authorities. No animal should be kept on a farm if it is harmful to its health or welfare.

Inspections

Member States must take the necessary steps to ensure that the competent national authorities carry out inspections. They must report on these inspections to the Commission, which will use the reports to formulate proposals on harmonising inspections.

Evaluation and implementation

Every five years the Commission must report to the Council on the implementation of this Directive, with proposals for improvement, if appropriate. The Council adopts this report by qualified majority vote.

The Member States had to introduce the legislative, regulatory and administrative provisions (including any penalties) needed to comply with this Directive by 31 December 1999. They are allowed to keep or introduce stricter provisions.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 98/58/EC

8.8.1998

31.12.1999

OJ L 221 of 8.8.1998

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No

806/2003

5.6.2003

OJ L 122 of 16.5.2003

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 98/58/EC have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated versionis for reference only.

Related Acts

Report from the Commission of 19 December 2006 on the experience acquired on the implementation of Directive 98/58/EC on the protection of animals kept for farming purposes [COM(2006) 838 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

In this report the Commission refers to the need for Member States to improve the planning and performance of inspections and the recording and transparency of inspection results. It emphasises the necessity of more training for the staff of the authorities concerned and a better notification system. It is also important to simplify procedures in order to avoid excessive bureaucracy.

Commission Decision 2006/778/EC of 14 November 2006 concerning minimum requirements for the collection of information during the inspections of production sites on which certain animals are kept for farming purposes [Official Journal L 314 of 15.11.2006].

Commission Decision 2000/50/EC of 17 December 1999 concerning minimum requirements for the inspection of holdings on which animals are kept for farming purposes [Official Journal L 19 of 25.01.2000].

Protection of animals at the time of killing

Protection of animals at the time of killing

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Protection of animals at the time of killing

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Animal welfare

Protection of animals at the time of killing

Acte

Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing.

Summary

This Regulation establishes rules applicable to the killing of animals kept for the production of food, wool, skin, fur, etc. It also lays down rules applicable to killing in emergencies and for the control of contagious diseases.

The rules established by this Regulation do not apply to animals killed as part of scientific experiments, hunting, cultural or sporting events and euthanasia practiced by a veterinarian, nor to poultry or rabbits killed for personal consumption.

Integration of animal welfare

This Regulation introduces standard operating procedures * for the welfare of animals at slaughter. Each operator * is responsible for establishing and applying these operating procedures in order to spare animals for slaughter as much pain, distress or suffering as possible.

In this context, operators should evaluate the efficiency of their stunning methods * using indicators based on the animals. Regular monitoring will ensure in particular that stunned animals do not regain consciousness before slaughter.

Manufacturers of restraining and stunning equipment should sell their equipment with instructions giving details in particular of the types of animals concerned and information on optimal use. Users must comply with manufacturers’ recommendations.

Moreover, an Animal Welfare Officer shall be appointed by the operator in each slaughterhouse. The Animal Welfare Officer is responsible for ensuring that the provisions of this Regulation are complied with. Small slaughterhouses shall be granted a derogation from this obligation.

Improving personnel competence

Slaughterhouse personnel dealing with live animals should possess a certificate of competence attesting that they have sufficient knowledge concerning animal welfare. The issue of the said certificate shall be subject to independent examination by an accredited body.

This Regulation also provides that Member States put in place a system of scientific support. This support will provide technical assistance for slaughterhouse inspection personnel as well as scientific assessments of new stunning equipment and new slaughterhouses. In addition, they shall be responsible for providing opinions on the capacity and suitability of the bodies which deliver the certificates of competence concerning animal welfare.

Depopulation

Emergency plans required by Community regulations on animal health (control of contagious diseases) should give details of the logistics procedures for slaughter in order to ensure that animal welfare is taken into account. Derogations to the said regulations will be granted when compliance with the provisions may have implications for human health or slow down the eradication of the disease. Furthermore, this Regulation improves the planning, monitoring, producing reports and the transparency of killing methods in the case of depopulation.

Technical requirements

A list of stunning methods shall be established in the Annex to the Regulation and shall describe the rules relating to and the context for the authorised use of each method. These methods should accompany scientific progress and take socio-economic questions into consideration. Moreover, technical changes could affect the construction, layout and equipment of slaughterhouses.

Context

This Regulation is also consistent with the Community Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of Animals that introduced the concept of animal welfare indicators.

This Regulation will replace Directive 93/119/EC on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter or killing, which has never been amended despite scientific and technical developments.

Key terms of the Act
  • Standard operating procedures: a set of written instructions aimed at achieving uniformity of the performance of a specific function or standard.
  • Operator: any natural or legal person responsible for an undertaking which carries out activities covered by this Regulation.
  • Stunning: any intentionally induced process which causes loss of consciousness and sensibility without pain, including any process resulting in instantaneous death.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009

8.12.2009

OJ L 303 of 18.11.2009

Protection of calves intended for slaughter

Protection of calves intended for slaughter

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Protection of calves intended for slaughter

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Animal welfare

Protection of calves intended for slaughter

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2008/119/EC of 18 December 2008 laying down minimum standards for the protection of calves.

Summary

This Directive lays down minimum standards for the protection of calves * placed in units in which they are raised for slaughter. These standards, which have been compulsory since 1 January 2007, do not apply to calves kept with the cow for suckling, or to holdings with fewer than six calves.

This Directive does not cover the transport of calves, which is governed by Regulation (EC) No 1/2005.

Group or individual pens

Pens must be constructed in such a way as to allow each calf to lie down, rest, stand up and groom itself without difficulty.

From the age of eight weeks, individual pens are prohibited except in the case of illness. This measure is justified by the gregarious nature of bovine animals.

Before the age of eight weeks, individual pens are permitted. They are to be composed of perforated walls which allow the calves to have visual and tactile contact. Solid walls may be used only to isolate sick animals from the rest of the herd.

Group pens must comply with the following standards relating to space (see table below).

Weight of animal in kg Area in m2

‹ 150

1.5

‹ 220

1.7

› 220

1.8

Calves must not be tethered (except possibly during the feeding of milk for a period of not more than one hour) or muzzled.

Housing, pens, equipment and utensils must be cleaned and disinfected.

Floors must be smooth but not slippery, so as to prevent injury to the calves. The lying area must be comfortable, clean and adequately drained. Bedding is compulsory for calves less than two weeks old.

Health

Each calf must receive bovine colostrum as soon as possible after it is born (within the first six hours of life).

Any calf which is ill or injured must be treated without delay. Veterinary advice must be obtained as soon as possible for any calf which is not responding to the stock-keeper’s care.

Diet

Calves are to be fed at least twice a day. Each calf must have access to food at the same time as the others in the group.

Their food must contain sufficient iron to ensure an average blood haemoglobin level of at least 4.5 mmol/litre, and a minimum daily ration of fibrous food must be provided for each calf over two weeks old.

Diet must be adapted to the age and weight of the animal. It must also be adapted to its behaviour and physiological needs.

Calves over two weeks of age should have access to fresh water.

Monitoring of animals

Housed calves must be inspected at least twice daily and mechanical equipment at least once daily. Where an artificial ventilation system is used, provision must be made for an alarm system (tested regularly) and a ventilation back-up system.

Light levels

Calves should be kept in conditions with natural or artificial lighting (equivalent to the period of natural light between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.).

Inspections

Member States must carry out inspections every year on a statistically representative sample.

The Commission may send veterinary experts to carry out on-the-spot checks with the assistance of the national inspectors.

Imports

To import animals from third countries, a certificate is required stating that they have received treatment equivalent to that granted to animals of Community origin.

Specific provisions

Member States may, within their territories, apply stricter provisions than those laid down in this Directive. In this case, they must inform the Commission in advance of any such measures.

Context

This Directive repeals Directive 91/629/EEC.

Key terms of the Act
  • Calf: a bovine animal up to six months old.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2008/119/EC

4.2.2009

OJ L 10 of 15.1.2009

The protection of pigs

The protection of pigs

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The protection of pigs

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Animal welfare

The protection of pigs

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2008/120/EC of 18 December 2008 laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs.

Summary

This Directive lays down minimum standards for the protection of pigs. The text provides a framework in particular for painful operations: castration, caudal amputation, the elimination of corner teeth, etc.

Scope

Minimum standards apply to all categories of pigs kept for rearing and fattening: piglets (from birth to weaning), weaned piglets (from weaning to 10 weeks old), fatteners (more than 10 weeks old), sows and gilts *, boars *, etc.

These animals are, apart from some exceptions (farrowing sows, boar), to be raised in groups. Farmers must implement measures aimed at fulfilling basic needs and preventing aggression within the group. In particular, pigs must have permanent access to a sufficient quantity of enrichment material in order to enable proper investigation and manipulation activities.

Sows and gilts

Pregnant sows and gilts must, if necessary, be treated against external and internal parasites. Tethering sows and gilts has been prohibited since 1 January 2006.

One week before farrowing, sows and gilts can be isolated. An unobstructed area must be available for natural or assisted farrowing. Boxes must be equipped with piglet protection systems.

Piglets (unweaned)

No piglets shall be weaned from the sow at less than 28 days of age unless the welfare or health of the dam or the piglet would otherwise be adversely affected.

Weaned piglets and rearing pigs

Measures shall be taken to ensure that the animals do not fight. Pigs are to be kept in groups and must not be mixed (except if necessary before weaning or during the week following weaning). Aggressive animals are to be kept away from the group (as are injured animals). Tranquilising medicaments are only to be used to facilitate mixing in exceptional conditions and after consultation with a veterinarian.

Painful operations on animals

A veterinarian or “carer”, trained in aspects relating to animal welfare is authorised to carry out the following:

  • reduction of piglets’ corner teeth,
  • docking of tails (before the seventh day of life or after this age if carried out by a veterinarian and under anaesthesia and with additional prolonged analgesia),
  • castration of males (before the seventh day of life or after this age if carried out by a veterinarian and under anaesthesia and with additional prolonged analgesia),
  • nose-ringing in outdoor husbandry systems.

Neither tail-docking nor reduction of corner teeth must be carried out routinely but only where there is evidence that injuries to sows’ teats or to other pigs’ ears or tails have occurred. Before carrying out these procedures, other measures shall be taken to prevent tail-biting and other vices, taking into account environment and stocking densities. For this reason inadequate environmental conditions or management systems must be changed.

Health

Sick or injured pigs are to be placed in individual enclosures.

Feed

The Directive also provides for standards concerning feeding in “sufficient quality” and “permanent” access to drinking water. All pigs must have access to food at the same time as other animals in the group. Animals must be fed at least once a day.

Accommodation

Standards concerning floor area are set according to the weight of the animal: between 0.15 m2 for pigs weighing less than 10 kg and 1 m2 per animal over 110 kg, 1.64 m2 per gilt, 2.25 m2 per sow, 6 m2 for a boar (10 m2 if the boar is used for natural service).

Some accommodation standards will only apply after 1 January 2013 (for buildings constructed before 2003 or after the date of accession to the EU).

Floors must be smooth but not slippery so as to prevent injury to the animals.

The lying area must be comfortable, clean and dry.

Environment

Continuous noise as loud as 85 dB is to be avoided. Light intensity is to be at least 40 lux for eight hours.

Inspections

Member States must carry out inspections each year on a statistically representative sample.

The Commission may send veterinary experts to make on-the-spot checks in the farms with the assistance of national inspectors.

Specific provisions

Member States may apply stricter provisions on their own territory than those laid down in this Directive. In this case, they shall inform the Commission of any such measures beforehand.

Context

This Directive codifies and replaces Directive 91/630/EEC and its subsequent amendments.

Key terms of the Act
  • Gilt: a female pig after puberty and before farrowing.
  • Boar: a male pig after puberty, intended for breeding.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2008/120/EC

10.3.2009

1.1.2008

OJ L 47 of 18.2.2009

Undesirable substances in animal feed

Undesirable substances in animal feed

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Undesirable substances in animal feed

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Animal nutrition

Undesirable substances in animal feed

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2002/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 May 2002 on undesirable substances in animal feed [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This Directive sets maximum levels to limit as far as possible the presence of undesirable substances and products in animal feed put into circulation within the European Union (EU).

Undesirable substances

“Undesirable substance” means any substance or product, with the exception of pathogenic agents, which is present in and/or on the product intended for animal feed and which presents a potential danger to animal or human health or to the environment or could adversely affect livestock production. The range of substances covered by the Directive comprises arsenic, lead, mercury, dioxin and certain mustards.

This Directive applies to all products intended for animal feed, including raw materials for feed, additives and complementary feedingstuffs.

List of undesirable substances

The Directive lays down a list of undesirable substances, for which it sets limit values above which their presence in animal feeds is forbidden (see Annex I to the Directive). This list is regularly updated in the light of technical progress.

Investigations

When these maximum levels are exceeded, Member States, in cooperation with the economic operators concerned, must carry out investigations to identify the sources of the substances concerned. They must then inform the Commission of the outcome of these investigations and the measures taken to reduce the level of the substances or eliminate them.

Mixtures

To prevent fraud, the Directive prohibits mixing a product containing undesirable substances with the same product or other products in order to dilute it.

Temporary provisions

There can be no derogations from the Directive. However, where a danger to human or animal health or to the environment becomes apparent, Member States may provisionally take more stringent measures, reducing the maximum level set in the Directive.

Context

Following the dioxin crisis in the late 1990s, the EU made many changes to European undesirable substances in order to improve food security and to better protect human and animal health and the environment.

Directive 2002/32/EC replaces Directive 1999/29/EC as from 1 August 2003.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2002/32/EC

30.5.2002

1.5.2003

OJ L 140, 30.5.2002

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 219/2009

20.4.2009

OJ L 87, 31.3.2009

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2002/32/EC have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.

Related Acts

Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules.

In the context of the review of food hygiene legislation (“hygiene package”), this Regulation re-organises official controls of food and feed so as to integrate controls at all stages of production and in all sectors. The Regulation defines the European Union’s duties as regards the organisation of these controls, as well as the rules which must be respected by the national authorities responsible for carrying out the official controls, including coercive measures adopted in the event of failure to comply with Community law.

Marketing of feed

Marketing of feed

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Marketing of feed

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Animal nutrition

Marketing of feed

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 767/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 on the placing on the market and use of feed, amending European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003 and repealing Council Directive 79/373/EEC, Commission Directive 80/511/EEC, Council Directives 82/471/EEC, 83/228/EEC, 93/74/EEC, 93/113/EC and 96/25/EC and Commission Decision 2004/217/EC.

Summary

This Regulation lays down rules on the placing on the market and use of feed for food-producing animals or pets. It also lays down labelling, packaging and presentation requirements.

Feed

This Regulation covers feed, i.e. any substance or product, including additives, whether processed, partially processed or unprocessed, intended to be used for oral feeding to animals.

It applies without prejudice to provisions in the field of animal nutrition concerning:

  • medicated feedingstuffs;
  • undesirable substances;
  • transmissible spongiform encephalopathies;
  • animal by-products not intended for human consumption;
  • genetically modified food and feed;
  • the traceability and labelling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs);
  • additives; and
  • the production and labelling of organic products.

Marketing and use

Animal feed shall comply with safety and marketing requirements. In particular, it shall:

  • be safe;
  • not have a direct adverse effect on the environment or animal welfare;
  • be sound, genuine, unadulterated, fit for purpose and of merchantable quality;
  • be labelled, packaged and presented in accordance with the applicable legislation; and
  • comply with the technical provisions on impurities and other chemical determinants (see Annex I to the Regulation).

Feed shall not contain materials whose placing on the market or use is restricted or prohibited (see Annex III to the Regulation).

The traceability of feed shall be guaranteed at all stages of production, processing and distribution. Feed business operators must therefore be capable of identifying any person who has provided them with feed, a food-producing animal or any substance intended or likely to be incorporated into feed.

Feed which is or is likely to be placed on the market in the European Community shall be labelled or identified appropriately in order to facilitate its traceability.

If the feed business operator considers that a feed does not meet the feed safety requirements, it shall immediately initiate the procedures for withdrawing the feed in question from the market. It shall then inform the competent authorities and users without delay.

Labelling and presentation

This Regulation establishes general provisions for the labelling and presentation of all feed, such as the obligation to indicate:

  • the type of feed;
  • the name and address of the operator;
  • the batch or lot reference number;
  • the net weight;
  • the list of additives used; and
  • the moisture content.

The labelling and presentation of feed must not mislead the user concerning the intended use or characteristics of the feed. The mandatory labelling particulars shall be clearly visible on the packaging, the container, on a label attached thereto or on the document accompanying the feed. The particulars shall be clearly legible and indelible. They shall be given in at least one of the official languages of the Member State or region in which the feed is marketed.

Specific labelling requirements are laid down for feed materials, compound feed and “dietetic” feed. All claims relating to feed must be duly justified.

The labelling of pet food shall include a telephone number for customers wishing to know more about the ingredients used.

Packaging

Feed materials and compound feed shall be placed on the market in sealed packages and containers.

However, certain feed may be placed on the market in bulk or in unsealed packages or containers. This derogation concerns:

  • feed materials;
  • mixtures of grain and whole fruit;
  • deliveries between producers of compound feed;
  • compound feed delivered by the producer to the user or packaging firms;
  • quantities of compound feed not exceeding 50 kilograms in weight which are intended for the final user and are taken directly from a sealed package or container; and
  • blocks or licks.

Community Catalogue of feed materials

The Community Catalogue of feed materials is intended to improve the labelling of feed materials and compound feed. For each material listed, it includes the following particulars:

  • the name;
  • the identification number;
  • a description (including information on the manufacturing process); and
  • a glossary of definitions.

Community Codes of good labelling practice

Stakeholders are also encouraged to create Community Codes of exemplary practice in the context of optional labelling: one for pet food and one for compound feed for food-producing animals.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 767/2009

21.9.2009

OJ L 229 of 1.9.2009

Subsequent amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 767/2009 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionhas a purely documentary value”.

DEROGATION FROM THE ACT

Regulation (EU) No 454/2010 [Official Journal L 128 du 27.5.2010].
Feed intended for pet animals which is labelled in accordance with Directive 79/373/EEC and Article 16 of Directive 70/524/EEC may be placed on the market until 31 August 2011.

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EU) No 242/2010 of 19 March 2010 creating the Catalogue of feed materials [Official Journal L 77 of 24.3.2010].

Animal by-products

Animal by-products

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Animal by-products

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Animal nutrition

Animal by-products

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 laying down health rules as regards animal by-products and derived products not intended for human consumption and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1774/2002.

Summary

This Regulation facilitates the efficient management of animal by-products whilst maintaining the high level of protection that is currently in place against risks to public and animal health and to the environment.

Products concerned

This Regulation shall apply to:

  • animal by-products * and derived products * which are not intended for human consumption;
  • products intended for purposes other than human consumption:
    • products of animal origin which may be destined for human consumption;
    • raw materials for the production of products of animal origin.

End point in the manufacturing chain

This Regulation introduces the notion of an “end point” in the manufacturing of animal by-products, beyond which they are no longer subject to the rules governing this type of product, since potential risks have been eliminated. Instead, the general rules on product safety are to apply. As an example, where animal fat produced by an incinerating factory is processed and the product of that transformation is used to produce plastics, the probability that the final product might transmit a significant biological risk is very slight.

Essential guarantees for public and animal health

Products of animal origin may be used outside the food chain for various purposes: skins for leather production, powdered milk to feed animals, and blood products in diagnostic medical devices. Such by-products may be a vector of diseases affecting human beings or animals when they are used in animal feedingstuffs or to produce technical products.

This Regulation preserves the basic guarantees introduced in 2003 against such risks. In particular, it maintains:

  • a risk-based categorisation of animal by-products which determines whether they may be used as animal feedingstuffs, for the manufacture of technical products or for other purposes, or whether they must be destroyed;
  • an obligation for Member States and operators to ensure that animal by-products are collected and disposed of as soon as possible;
  • the exclusion of products that are unfit for hum an consumption from the feed chain for farmed animals; and lastly
  • a ban on feeding animals of one species with material derived from the same species (“intra-species recycling ban”).

A more coherent legal framework

Animal by-products are used to produce cosmetics, medicines and diagnostic medical devices. When they are used for the manufacture of such products, they are subject to other provisions of European law. Slaughterhouses, milk factories and other food establishments manufacturing animal by-products are already bound by European legislation on human food or animal feedingstuffs, and are the subject of inspections in this regard.

This Regulation aims at improving coherency between other provisions of European law and the health rules applying to animal by-products. The potential risks are tackled with respect to the appropriate legislation, which avoids operators being exposed to unnecessary constraints.

Being based on experience gained, this Regulation clarifies under which circumstances and in what way environmental legislation shall apply to operations involving animal by-products. This legislation applies for example where the spreading of manure as a fertiliser has effects on soil and the groundwater table.

Comitology

The current categorisation of animal by-products may now be amended by the Commission under the comitology procedure. Prior to any change, a scientific organisation such as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) or the Scientific Committee for Consumer Products (SCCP) must assess the possible risks of a specific animal by-product for public and animal health.

Repeal

Regulation (EC) No 1774/2002 shall be repealed with effect from 4 March 2011.

Key terms of the Act
  • Animal by-products: entire bodies or parts of animals, products of animal origin or other products obtained from animals, which are not intended for human consumption, including oocytes, embryos and semen.
  • Derived products: products obtained from one or more treatments, transformations or steps of processing of animal by-products.
Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 41/2009

10.2.2009

OJ L 16 of 21.1.2009

European Convention on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter

European Convention on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Convention on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Animal welfare

European Convention on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 88/306/EEC of 16 May 1988 on the conclusion of the European Convention for the Protection of Animals for Slaughter.

Summary

This Convention applies to the movement, lairaging, restraint, stunning and actual slaughter of domestic solipeds, ruminants, pigs, rabbits and poultry.

The purpose of the Convention is to lay down uniform methods for sparing animals, as far as possible, suffering and stress.

To achieve that end, the countries that have approved the Convention must respect certain rules concerning, among other things, the delivery of animals to slaughterhousese, their lairaging until they are slaughtered (premises for lairaging and the care of animals) and slaughter methods, including in the case of ritual slaughter (restraint and stunning are compulsory without exception).

The design, construction and facilities of slaughterhouses and their operation must be such as to ensure that the rules laid down in the Convention are complied with.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 88/306/EEC OJ L 137 of 2.6.1988

Related Acts

Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing. [Official Journal L 303 of 18.11.2009].

Protection of chickens kept for meat production

Protection of chickens kept for meat production

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Protection of chickens kept for meat production

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Animal welfare

Protection of chickens kept for meat production

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2007/43/EC of 28 June 2007 laying down minimum rules for the protection of chickens kept for meat production

Summary

This Directive lays down a number of minimum requirements for holdings that rear chickens for meat production. Those requirements are designed to protect the welfare of the chickens, particularly those kept on high-density farms, and to eliminate distortions of competition in the sector.

Scope

This Directive applies to holdings that rear chickens for meat production (broiler chickens). It does not apply to holdings with fewer than 500 chickens or to holdings with only breeding stocks of chickens.

Rules that apply to all holdings

The poultry houses in which the chickens are kept must allow all chickens adequate access to a litter tray, a drinking channel and food. The buildings must have adequate lighting and ventilation, and should be inspected at least twice a day. Any chickens that are seriously injured or in poor health must be treated or immediately culled. Most surgical procedures performed for purposes other than medical treatment are prohibited. However, beak trimming and castration may be permitted in certain cases. Furthermore, the producer must keep a detailed record of the chickens reared, the conditions in which they are kept, their state of health, the mortality rate and any medical treatments administered.

The competent authorities must implement measures for monitoring and follow?up at the abattoir. If the post-mortem inspection reveals possible indications of poor welfare conditions, the holding and the competent authorities must take the appropriate measures.

Rules that apply to high-density holdings

The stocking density should not exceed 33 kg/m2. However, a higher stocking density (up to a maximum of 42 kg/m2) may be authorised if the producer meets additional criteria.

In addition to the rules that apply to all holdings, owners of high-density holdings must supply the competent authorities with specific documentation containing technical details relating to the holding and its equipment. Furthermore, holdings must be equipped with ventilation, heating and cooling systems to maintain the appropriate temperature, humidity and CO2 and NH3 concentrations.

Staff training

Farmers must follow training courses on the following subjects:

  • the characteristics of holdings and stocking density;
  • animal physiology;
  • handling chickens and administering emergency care;
  • preventive biosecurity.

Committee procedure

The Commission is assisted by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health in implementing this Directive.

Background

Before the entry into force of this Directive, the welfare of chickens kept for meat production was not covered by any specific Community legislation, except the general requirements of Council Directive 98/58/EC concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes. The Directive was proposed following a report drawn up in 2001 by the Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare , which concluded that the level of animal health and animal welfare was not satisfactory.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2007/43/EC

1.8.2007

30.6.2010

OJ L 182, 12.7.2007