The aim of EU legislation on undesirable substances in animal nutrition is to ensure that feed is put into circulation only if they are sound, genuine and of merchantable quality and, when correctly used, do not represent any danger to human health, animal health or the environment or do not adversely affect livestock production.
"Undesirable substances" in EU legislation on animal nutrition means any substance or product, with the exception of pathogenic agents, present in and/or on the product intended for animal feed which presents a potential danger to human health, animal health or the environment or do not adversely affect livestock production.
EU legislation on undesirable substances in animal feed from the 1970s on was consolidated by Council Directive 2002/32/EC. This Directive was replaced by Directive 2002/32/EC (consolidated version) of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 7 May 2002 on undesirable substances in animal feed. The Directive has been subsequently regularly amended in the light of developments in scientific and technical knowledge.
Directive 2002/32/EC introduced several major amendments. The most important prohibits the dilution of contaminated feed materials. This Directive includes maximum limits for heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, mercury and cadmium as well as for dioxin, aflatoxin, certain pesticides, and botanical impurities in certain feed materials, feed additives and feedingstuffs.
In addition, several Commission Recommendation have been adopted in relation to the presence of mycotoxins, in particular ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, fumonisins, T-2 and HT-2 toxin in cereals and cereal products intended for animal feed.
Commission Recommendation 2006/583/EC of 17 August 2006 on the prevention and reduction of Fusarium toxins in cereals and cereal products
Commission Recommendation 2006/576/EC of 17 August 2006 on the presence of deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, ochratoxin A, T-2 and HT-2 and fumonisins in products intended for animal feeding as amended by Commission Recommendation 2013/637/EU of 4 November 2014 as regards T-2 and HT-2 toxin in compound feed for cats- Commission Recommendation 2013/165/EU of 27 March 2013 on the presence of T-2 and HT-2 toxin in cereals and cereal products.