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Food Safety

Medicated feed - safe and controlled oral treatment

Medicated feed is one of the oral routes to administer veterinary medicinal products to animals and is generally used to treat animal diseases in large groups of animals, in particular pigs and poultry. As regards the oral administration of medicines to animals, the animal holders can either incorporate the medicines themselves into the feed or drinking water, or use medicated feed into which the medicine is incorporated by themselves, if they are approved for this activity, or by another approved manufacturer of medicated feed. Depending on specific situation, this can be the most effective way for a farmer to treat their livestock.

The EU regulated the manufacture, placing on the market and use of medicated feed in Directive 90/167/EEC. Due to the diverging national implementations, production standards and usage of medicated feed varies between the EU countries.

Therefore, the European Commission launched the revision of the Directive and based on a Commission proposal the legislators adopted the new Regulation (EU) 2019/4on medicated feed. It was published on 7th January 2019, repeals the outdated Directive (90/167/EEC) and brings the following main achievements:

  • EU actions to fight antimicrobial resistance by
    • Banning the use of antimicrobials in medicated feed for prophylaxis and growth promotion;
    • Restricting the veterinary prescriptions with antimicrobials;
    • Establishing harmonised limits for antimicrobials in ordinary feed;
  • Setting EU harmonised standards for manufacturing safe medicated feed;
  • Creation of a legal framework for safe manufacturing and distribution of medicated feed for pets.

As part of its implementation, the Regulation requires the European Commission to adopt delegated and implementing acts.

Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety: The "endorsement by EU ministers of a new legislation on veterinary medicinal products and medicated feed marked a major step forward in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. It has been a priority since the beginning of my mandate given that, in the EU, the majority of antimicrobials are consumed in animals. I am convinced that the legislation will have a major impact in Europe, but also on a global stage since the EU proves itself as a leader in the battle against antimicrobial resistance." (26/11/2018)

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