Medicated Feed

There are different ways to deliver veterinary medicinal products to animals: orally via feed, orally via water, injections, etc. When distributed orally via feed, the veterinary medicinal product may either be added by the farmer to the animal diet on the moment of distribution to animals (so-called post mixing or top-dressing) or incorporated in the feed itself when manufacturing the feed. This last route is called “medicated feed”. On 10 September 2014, the EU Commission issued a proposal to recast the EU medicated feed legislation (COM(2014)556).

The FEFAC position concerning medicated feed in general and the EU Commission proposal in particular is as follows:

  • FEFAC supports the “One health” strategy of the EU and participates strongly in initiatives aiming at reducing the use of antibiotics in livestock and companion animals along the principle “as much as needed, as little as possible”. Solutions are available today to reduce the need for antibiotics via feed (probiotics, prebiotics, etc.);
  • No antibiotics should be delivered to animals without a prescription, whether directly or via medicated feed;
  • All routes for oral administration of VMPs have their strengths and weaknesses and it should be up to the person responsible for prescription to decide which option is the most appropriate; in any case, all options should be subject to a clear, harmonised legal framework;
  • FEFAC welcomes the initiative of the EU Commission to recast the 24-years old EU legislation that would not only favour more harmonised rules across Europe (Regulation instead of Directive) but would also allow new techniques of incorporation of the VMP meeting the required safety standards;
  • Producing medicated feed is a service to farmers; handling VMPs in a feed mill requires specific, demanding procedures for the manufacturer; producing medicated feed is not an objective at all for compound feed manufacturers;
  • If the legislator considers medicated feed as a valid route for administration of VMPs to animals, there should be no discrimination between rules for industrial manufacturing of medicated feed and on-farm mixing of VMPs.