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Spain fails to comply with EU rules on animal feed

Thu 17th Feb 2011

The European Commission has asked Spain to advise them what measures they are taking to comply with the Animal Feed Directive (2009/141/EC). The request is due to the opinion of the Commsion that the requirements laid down in the directive are being infringemed, and if a satisfactory response is not forthcoming withing two months, the Commission can refer Spain to the European Court of Justice.

Directive 2009/141/EC basically sets agreed limits for inorganic substances in animal feed. Such substances may be added in the manufacturing process, or failed to be removed and can include certain heavy metals and pesticides. The aim of the directive was to make animal feed safe for consumption and to prevent any undesired effect on the food chain. All EU member states were given until July 2010 to comply with the agreed limits, however, as yet Spain has failed to do so, nor has it advised the commission of the steps being taken in this direction.

Human health and the environment are currently limited at certain levels. Healthy and high-quality livestock in all Member states depends, to a large extent, on the use of appropriate good quality feed. Rules on safe aniissues that are high up on the agenda for the European Commission. To ensure consumers' confidence on the safety and quality of animal feed, undesirable substances are either limited or banned altogether.

Healthy livestock in all Member states relies on the use of good quality feed, and regulations on safe animal feed contribute to a more competitive EU producer and safer food chain.

The Commission initiated an infringement procedure, described in the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, last year by sending a letter of formal notice to Spain. By sending of a "Reasoned Opinion", the Commission has formally requested that Spain takes action to comply with the law within a period of two months. Failing that, the Commission may decide to refer Spain to the European Court of Justice, if appropriate action is not taken.

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