Business Advice

Our Advice Sheets

Feed hygiene for farmers & growers

The hygiene of feed production and record keeping are critical to the traceability of feedingstuffs

This guidance is for England

EU Regulation (EC) No 183/2005 laying down requirements for feed hygiene is aimed at ensuring that controls throughout the feed chain are strengthened. In particular, it contains: 

The Regulation requires feed businesses to be approved or registered with their local authority.

In the guide

Who is covered?

With few exceptions the legislation applies to all feed businesses, which are defined in EU Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 as: 'any undertaking, whether for profit or not and whether public or private, carrying out any operation of production, manufacture, processing, storage, transport or distribution of feed including any producer producing, processing or storing feed for feeding to animals on his own holding'.

Examples of feed businesses include:

There was a transitional arrangement when the legislation was implemented that if any feed business, or other part of the business, was registered with an official scheme then it would not need to register again. For example, food businesses selling co-products for use as animal feed that were already registered under EU Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs, or farms registered under official schemes such as Organic Entry Level Stewardship or with other agencies such as the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). However, this no longer applies.

EU Regulation (EC) No 183/2005 laying down requirements for feed hygiene requires feed businesses to be approved or registered with their local authority, as appropriate, and they must not operate without such registration / approval. See the Food Standards Agency website for how to apply for approval or registration and see below for exemptions.


There are some farm-related activities that fall outside of the scope of the legislation:

(With regard to the term 'small quantities of primary production', a working definition is less than 20 tonnes per annum.)

Conditions for feed businesses to which the legislation applies

The legislation contains various conditions that feed businesses have to comply with, as appropriate. These are split into three annexes, as follows:

[*'Primary production of feed' is defined in EU Regulation (EC) 183/2005 as: 'the production of agricultural products, including in particular growing, harvesting, milking, rearing of animals (prior to their slaughter) or fishing resulting exclusively in products which do not undergo any other operation following their harvest, collection or capture, apart from simple physical treatment'.]

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP)

The legislation requires feed businesses that fall within the scope of annex II to put in place and operate procedures based on the principles of HACCP. HACCP is a system of safety management based on the prevention of feed and food safety problems. It provides a documented, structured approach to ensuring food safety and places a requirement on businesses to identify, manage and control hazards inherent in the handling and production process.

Feed businesses that are only involved in primary production or the feeding of livestock will not be required to apply a documented HACCP (excluding those that buy in and use feed additives or premixtures).

Definitions of feed additives and premixtures

'Feed additives' means substances, micro-organisms or preparations, other than feed material and premixtures, that are intentionally added to feed or water in order to perform, in particular, one or more of the following functions:

'Premixtures' means mixtures of feed additives or mixtures of one or more feed additives with feed materials or water used as carriers, not intended for direct feeding to animals.

Further requirements

Please note this guidance does not cover arrangements for the approval of premises, manufacturing, selling or using coccidiostats, histomonostats and growth promoters or the incorporation, distribution and use of veterinary medicines in premixtures and feedingstuffs, all of which are covered by separate legislation enforced by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) (01932 336911).


Any person who fails to comply with the Animal Feed (Hygiene, Sampling etc and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2015 is committing an offence. The maximum penalty on conviction is an unlimited fine and two years' imprisonment.

Key legislation

Please note

This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.

The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation. Information on amendments to UK legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab; amendments to EU legislation are usually incorporated into the text. Amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Please contact us for further information.

Last reviewed/updated: April 2015


Medway Council, Trading Standards Team,
Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 4TR  

Telephone: 01634 333555    Fax: 01634 332006  
Electronic Mail:
Internet Website:

Copyright © Medway 2001