On June 12, 2021, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) opened a consultation as part of the process to modernize the Feeds Regulations, 1983. The consultation to obtain feedback from the public will close on September 10, 2021. The pre-published proposed regulations are currently posted in the Canada Gazette, Part I for individuals to read through prior to participating in the consultation.
What are the Feeds Regulations?
The Feeds Regulations, 1983, set out requirements for the importation, manufacture, and sale of feed (including feed ingredients) in Canada. Feed is defined as “animal food” which is also regulated by the Health of Animals Regulations. These regulations also regulate the use of rendered animal protein products (e.g. animal meat and bone meal, feather meal, tallow, poultry fat) for use in ruminant and other animal feed.
The CFIA verifies that livestock feed manufactured, sold or imported in Canada are:
- safe for animal health and the environment
- effective for animal production
- comply with standards
- are labelled appropriately
- are safe for livestock that would be used for human consumption (meat, milk, eggs)
What is the objective of this modernization process?
The amendments that are being proposed to the Feeds Regulations, 1983 are required to ensure that a more robust regulatory framework is placed. This would include things such as hazard identification, preventive controls, traceability, increased record-keeping requirements and licensing requirements.
These measures would allow the CFIA to better understand and manage risks that livestock feeds pose to human, animal and plant health and the environment. In addition, they would allow the proposed Regulations to align with international frameworks and best practices.
What are some of the key changes being proposed?
The proposed Regulations would apply to feed ingredient and mixed feed manufacturers, feed retailers and distributors, feed importers and exporters, as well as on-farm feed manufacturers that sell off the farm or incorporate any drug or other substance that presents a risk of harm to human or animal health or the environment into their feeds. The scope of the framework would apply to the domestic supply chain as well as to feeds being imported and exported.
Scope of species — Definition of livestock
The additional species to which the Feeds Act and the proposed Regulations would apply are game birds, ratites, bison, water buffalo, cervids, llamas, alpacas, molluscs, crustaceans and bees. Mink and fox would be removed, as they are not considered food producing animals.
Incorporation by reference
The amendments would incorporate by reference nine documents, written, maintained and published by the CFIA:
- Canadian Feed Ingredients Table;
- Compendium of Medicating Ingredient Brochures;
- Compendium of Non-Feed Product Brochures;
- Tables of Nutrient Guarantees and Conditions for Feed Labels;
- Tables of Permissible Claims for Feed Labels;
- List of Weed Seeds and Maximum Levels for Feeds;
- Tables of Maximum Nutrient Values for Feeds;
- Tables of Maximum Contaminant Levels for Feeds;
- List of Prescribed Deleterious Substances.
Permissions (approvals, registrations and licences)
An updated, clearer and broader permissions approach for feed products (approvals and registrations) and individuals (licensing) would be established in the proposed Regulations. This includes:
- Feed ingredient approval
- Feed registration
- Licensing of individuals
General and safety standards for feeds
General and safety standards for feed would be updated to better reflect current science, risks, production practices and technology.
Labelling requirements would be updated to reduce prescriptiveness and rigidity, provide better information to purchasers, with health and safety labelling requirements to appear in both official languages. Improved flexibility would be provided by allowing additional information, such as claims and guarantees, to be added to the label without requiring the feed to be registered. To increase the traceability of feeds through the supply chain (in the event recalls are necessary), feeds would need to be labelled with a lot number/identification code.
Mandatory bilingual labelling requirements would be required for any label information that could impact the health and safety of the purchaser or livestock to be fed with the feed product. This would include medication information, and caution and warning statements.
Feed hazard identification and preventive controls
Under the proposed Regulations, regulated parties would be required to conduct a hazard identification (e.g. biological, chemical and physical hazards) for the feeds they manufacture. In addition, they would be required to develop, implement, and maintain a written preventive control plan to demonstrate how the preventive controls (e.g. cleaning and sanitation, pest control, conveyances, equipment, contaminated material, interior of the facility, movement of persons, and water, steam and ice) and other requirements (e.g. packaging and labelling) are met.
New traceability requirements would require more detailed record-keeping requirements to better support risk management along the feed supply chain, especially where timely responses to incidents of risks to public, animal or plant health or the environment are involved.
How do I participate in the consultation?
The first step would be to read the proposed regulations in Canada Gazette Part I. Once you have an understanding of the changes being proposed, submit your comments using the online regulatory consultation system. You can also read the fact sheets and guidance documents to better understand the proposed regulations and join a webinar to learn more!
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