Chairman Dr Ian Brown
Members Dr Dozie Azubike
Ms Angela Booth
Mr Tim Brigstocke
Mr Barrie Fleming
Professor Stephen Forsythe
Professor Ian Givens
Professor Nigel Halford
Mrs Chris McAlinden
Dr David Peers
Mr Richard Scales
Mr Edwin Snow
Secretariat Mr Keith Millar (Secretary) – Food Standards Agency
Miss Mandy Jumnoodoo – Food Standards Agency
Dr Ray Smith – Food Standards Agency
Mr Raj Pal – Food Standards Agency
Assessors Mr Tim Franck – Food Standards Agency
Mrs Karen Robertson – Food Standards Agency, Scotland
Mr Stephen Wyllie - Defra
Speakers: Miss Lesley Johnson – Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Mr Mike Steele – British Society for Animal Science
1. The Chairman welcomed delegates to the 59th meeting of ACAF and reminded them that there would be an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the meeting.
2. Apologies for absence were received from Ms Ann Davison, Mr Peter Francis, Dr Glenn Kennedy (Northern Ireland Assessor), Mrs Vicki Reilly (Welsh Assessor) and Mrs Janis McDonald (Veterinary Medicines Directorate).
3. The Chairman said it was disappointing that there were no representatives from Northern Ireland or Wales at the meeting. Additionally, he noted that two new Members had been recruited to the Committee to replace Diane McCrea (consumer representative) and Marcus Themans (farmer). The ACAF Secretary said that induction training had successfully taken place with the new Members (Ann Davison and Peter Francis), departing Members and an existing Member (Edwin Snow). The ACAF Secretary thanked Mr Snow for his help in organising the induction training and looked forward to Ms Davison and Mr Francis attending the January 2013 meeting.
Agenda Item 1 – Declaration of Members’ Interests
4. Members of the Committee were asked to declare any relevant changes to their entries in the Register of Members’ Interests, or any specific interest in items on the agenda. Mr Snow, referring to agenda item 5, said he was carrying out work for a company that blends oils and fats. Professor Halford said that he was carrying out consultancy work for a contract with a European snacks company and with EFSA regarding GM varieties.
5. The ACAF Chairman said that he was being sponsored by the Responsible Use of Medicines Alliance (RUMA) to attend the Royal College of Physicians/Veterinary Surgeons joint seminar on antibiotics in October 2012. Mr Brigstocke stated that he was member of the British Society of Animal Science and a Trustee of the Society of Biology. He is the Chairman of the College of Elected Members and professional registers such as that being established by BSAS which falls under their remit. Mr Brigstocke is also a member of the Veterinary Residues Committee . Finally Mr Brigstocke stated that he is a director and Treasurer of RUMA.
Agenda Item 2 – Draft Minutes of the Fifty-eighth Meeting (MIN/12/02)
6. The minutes were adopted.
Agenda Item 3 – Antimicrobial resistance (ACAF/12/11)
7. Miss Lesley Johnson (Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD)) introduced paper ACAF 12/11 on an overview of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). She explained that AMR was the ability of a micro-organism to grow or survive in the presence of an antimicrobial at a concentration that is usually sufficient to inhibit or kill micro-organisms of the same type. The use of antimicrobials is not the only factor when considering resistance. Although there is little consensus as to the measurement of resistance, Miss Johnson did acknowledge that AMR was a rising threat in both humans and animals. Additionally, responsible prescribing in both sectors was essential.
8. Miss Johnson said that responsibility for the work on AMR was transferred from Defra to the VMD in April 2011. The VMD’s policies and activities are at UK, EU and international levels. In the UK all veterinary antimicrobials are categorized as prescription only medicine –veterinary (POM-V) and can only be supplied on veterinary prescription. Additionally, antimicrobials can only be advertised to vets, nurses, pharmacists and farmers. The VMD follows the Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use guidelines on AMR in respect of new marketing authorisations. The Directorate also has a Code of Practice for the responsible use of medicines on farms and also refers to guidelines produced by the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) Alliance and those issued by the British Veterinary Association .
9. Miss Johnson, explained that the following issues involving AMR were current:
• Methicillin (Multi) Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) – this is one of the most prevalent health-care associated infections. MRSA strain 398 is livestock-associated on continental farms (principally in pigs) with those in direct contact with the animals (such as stockmen) also becoming colonized. Miss Johnson said that although not detected in samples from the UK pig farms, the bacteria may still be present. UK pig farmers have been advised only to buy stock with a minimal risk of introducing this organism to their stock. Although some human cases in UK had been detected, none of these had contact with farmed animals. Finally, two cases involving horses in UK (one of which had been imported) have been documented.
• Salmonella – Reporting of Salmonella is a requirement of the Zoonoses Order 1989. It was unclear why resistant strains appear and decline over time. The Health Protection Agency works with the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency and the Food Standards Agency on this issue. Although transmission of veterinary strains of Salmonella through the food chain was low, the impact on consumers is high should transmission occur.
• E.Coli and Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamases (ESBLs) – ESBLs carried on plasmids can grow and replicate in the absence of an antimicrobial. Data from the Health Protection Agency show some differences in human and veterinary isolates across Europe. ESBLs are highly prevalent in human medicine associated with urinary tract infections. However, human infection is often associated with travel outside the European Union. In the Netherlands 10% of human infection was attributed to chicken products, the isolates being the same as those found in chickens. Miss Johnson said that the appearance of ESBLs was associated with 3rd/4th generation cephalosporin use in farmed animals. Miss Johnson said it was expected that in 2013 the surveillance of veterinary isolates of E.coli will become statutory.
10. In relation to work on AMR being carried out by the VMD in the UK, EU and internationally, Miss Johnson cited involvement in the Defra Antimicrobial Resistance Co-ordination Group (DARC), and the MRSA and ESBL sub groups. The VMD also collects and collates sales data which is published in the annual antimicrobial sales data report . Two reports are available on the VMD’s website which provides an overview of usage and bacterial resistance for 2004 and 2007 . Also available on the VMD’s website is a report on risk from ESBLs. Other initiatives involving the VMD include work being carried out by the Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Resistance and Health Care Associated Infections and RUMA. Additionally, surveillance is carried out on behalf of VMD and considered by DARC.
11. In the EU there are three fundamental documents: European Commission Action Plan; European Council conclusions on AMR; and MEPs resolutions from Parliament. Miss Johnson explained that all three documents are to be considered when the Veterinary Medicines Directive is being reviewed. Other EU activities being carried out by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate also included:
• Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP) strategy on antimicrobials;
• European Sales Data project (ESVAC) – led by the European Medicines Agency;
• Chief Veterinary Officer’s meetings;
• Heads of Medicines Agencies (veterinary) AMR Task Force strategy and action plan. (The VMD proposed its formation, the VMD’s Chief Executive chairs the meetings and the VMD provides the Secretariat); and
• Revision of the Veterinary Medicines Directive.
12. On the international front, the VMD is involved in activities with the Codex Alimentarius, the Trans-Atlantic Task Force for Antimicrobial Resistance; and work involving WHO, FAO and OIE.
13. Miss Johnson said that feedingstuffs are not thought to be a major contributor to AMR transfer. However, it cannot be said that transfer never happens or will never happen. Feed issues are considered by DARC but issues about feed as a vehicle for the transfer of AMR have not been raised as a potential problem. However, should an issue be raised by either DARC or another body, these would be referred to ACAF for advice. In relation to Salmonella Miss Johnson noted that ACAF had endorsed the Code of Practice for the Control of Salmonella during the Production, Storage and Transport of Compound Feeds, Premixtures, Feed Materials and Feed Additives . In addition, feed manufacturers test for all types of Salmonella in feed.
14. Miss Johnson also noted that ACAF also received regular updates on the review of the Medicated Feedingstuffs Directive. The Commission is considering the issue of AMR in relation to medicated feedingstuffs. The draft proposal is scheduled to be introduced in mid to late 2013. Miss Johnson said that one of the Commission’s concerns is: will ‘carry-over’ from feed containing antimicrobials to subsequent unmedicated batches cause AMR? The Commission is also proposing the setting of acceptable carry-over levels (the UK government thinks this is desirable). The oral route (via feed and water) is the most important route of administration of antimicrobials. In most Member States, including the UK, approximately three quarters of all authorised premixtures are antimicrobials.
15. Miss Johnson explained that UK policy to ensure ‘healthy food from healthy animals’ was the promotion of the responsible use of veterinary antimicrobials:
• to protect public health;
• to ensure the continuing availability of veterinary medicines; and
• to protect animal health and welfare.
• the UK does not support the blanket reduction of antimicrobials in feed without scientific evidence; and
• any rules regarding the use of antimicrobials in feed should be based on science.
16. Finally, Miss Johnson speculated on what the future may bring - it was uncertain what restrictions the EU legislation will introduce. There may possibly be a ban on the use or authorisation of certain antimicrobials for use in animals; or only an allowance on the use of certain antimicrobials when specific conditions are met, e.g. sensitivity testing; or cascade use may be banned.
17. The Committee agreed that the issue of AMR was complex. Some Members were unaware that antibiotic growth promoters (not permitted in the European Union) were still used in some countries, such as the United States of America. Miss Johnson said that there are two surveillance schemes for residues of veterinary medicines and illegal substances in animals and animal products. One of the residues being monitored is that of growth promoters in imports of products for human consumption. Although, VMD is unable to sample every item arriving from third countries, there appear to be no major problems with imports. A number of initiatives are taking place across Europe to spread the messages on the risks associated with inappropriate use of antibiotics and how antibiotics can be used responsibly.
18. Following a question from the ACAF Chairman, a Member of the Committee noted that the use of most antibiotics were to treat individual animals for specific infections. The Defra Assessor said that some veterinary practices may be prescribing the use of antibiotics as a preventative measure, but that it was important to differentiate between metaphylaxis, prophylaxis and therapeutic use. By therapeutics he meant treatment of sick animals, prophylaxis the preventative treatment of in contact animals on a risk-based basis, whereas metaphylaxis is blanket use of antimicrobials. Whilst antimicrobials may still be occasionally used in the latter sense, this is becoming a less acceptable practice. Miss Johnson said that in respect to husbandry management, antibiotic use may be as a proactive measure, but this would be seen as an additional cost.
19. The Defra Assessor said that DARC had held a series of meetings with representatives of the different veterinary sectors to determine what antibiotics were being used and what the drivers were for current prescribing practices. DARC are producing a report of their findings, but was in general encouraged by the attitude of colleagues. One Member of the Committee referring to the Cattle Health and Welfare Group Annual Report for 2012 noted that 63% of all livestock farmers in England had a farm animal health plan in 2012.
20. In response to a question from another Member of the Committee, Miss Johnson, said that when monitoring sales, the assumption was that if sales reduce, then resistance will drop as a consequence. However, this might not be the case. If a disease was not effectively treated, problems could arise due to suboptimal dosages/treatment lengths being used. One Member of the Committee queried how strong the evidence was that human AMR does not originate from the food chain, i.e., is it a belief or documented via peer-reviewed articles. The Defra Assessor said that the balance of opinion was changing and that it was increasingly accepted that the main driver for AMR in humans was prescribing antimicrobials to humans. However this is not to say that there is no link to use of veterinary medicines and prudent prescribing in this sector is still important.
21. A Member of the Committee referred to a number of documents on AMR in respect to clinical analysis. He explained that there were two techniques to monitor AMR in Salmonella, Campylobacter, and E.coli from food producing animals and derived meat, adopted by the European Commission, based on an EFSA opinion. The Member noted that Campylobacter was not listed as a current issue in Miss Johnson’s presentation. Another Member of the Committee welcomed DARC involvement in this issue, the Member then referred to proposals by some Member States and the UK on banning the use of antibiotics without firm evidence. Mention was also made about cases of MRSA being found in pigs in the Netherlands.
22. A Member of the Committee said that there was an increasing focus in preventing disease and that there were a number of initiatives aimed at promoting awareness of problems. Good husbandry was a key attribute in preventing disease rather than reliance on medicines.
23. The Committee said it wished to explore this topic at a future meeting, where it could discuss the available evidence to support whether AMR was a current issue for animal feed.
Action: ACAF Secretariat
Agenda Item 4 – Feed Safety – Potential Gaps (ACAF12/12)
24. Mr Mike Steele (British Society for Animal Science ) introduced paper ACAF/12/12. He said that the UK commercial feed and livestock industries are supported by nutritionists, feed formulators, livestock technicians and on-farm advisers. The commercial feed and livestock industries have, and wish to retain, an international reputation for the quality of their products and services. Nonetheless, livestock feed advice, consultancy and technical support is delivered by a sector with wide-ranging formal qualifications, experience and technical know-how.
25. The British Society for Animal Science (BSAS) has drawn up a register of animal scientists and technologists. Applicants need to demonstrate competence in one or more areas of animal science, and specialisms include animal nutrition and feeding. To be accepted on the register under these specialisms, applicants need to demonstrate a level of competence on feed issues. Application to join the BSAS’s Register is open to all those involved directly and indirectly in any of the many and various disciplines of animal science and production, Application can be made for Associate or for the fully Certified level, depending upon experience.
26. Mr Steele said that members of the BSAS scheme will have to demonstrate that they have maintained their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training if they wish to remain in the BSAS scheme. Applications (both for initial registration and for subsequent re-registration) is considered by the Accreditation Panel. The Panel reflects the sector from which the application is made; supporting organisations may comprise up to half the Panel membership. The Panel considers a candidate’s experience, qualifications and competencies in relation to the candidate’s own stated description of: (a) designated professional activity; and (b) specialism(s). These latter appear upon the Public Register. The standard of performance, governance and conduct of the scheme is the responsibility of the Accreditation Panel, which reports to BSAS Council. The setting and maintenance of standards is audited / endorsed by the Society of Biology as the internationally-recognised senior professional authority. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is appraised and supportive of the initiative by BSAS.
27. The scheme is CPD-driven, with re-registration required every three years, by which time applicants need to provide evidence to demonstrate that their CPD has been completed to the satisfaction of the Accreditation Panel and the standards of the scheme. The CPD must be relevant to the member’s own chosen areas of expertise as stated upon the Register. Training may be delivered by any appropriate agency, event or organisation (including in-house), provided that the Accreditation Panel finds that the CPD is, (a) verified as of the required standard and (b) relevant to the member’s descriptor upon the Register. The Accreditation Panel also oversees the Professional conduct of members of the Register.
28. Mr Steele asked for ACAF’s support and encouragement to its sectorial interests in enlarging membership to the initiative.
29. Members were informed that the BSAS had 1000 registered members. Membership of the scheme was free to BSAS members, but non-members were required to pay a fee. In addition, there was a re-registration fee payable every three years. Mr Steele said that the Scheme would identify Members not meeting the standards required. In addition, he acknowledged that the BSAS scheme was one of a number being run by various organisations. He advocated collaboration between the various organisations wherever possible.
30. A Member of the Committee explained that the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC) was also in the process of setting up a register of feed advisors and that the Secretariat had planned for a representative from AIC to provide a presentation at the Committee’s January 2013 meeting. In response to a question from a Member of the Committee on whether an applicant can register in one area and provide advice in a differing area, Mr Steele said that the Appraisal Panel would assess, question an applicant’s qualifications and their competencies and expertise. Ultimately it would be for the applicant to choose their area of specialism. Mr Steele added that although the scheme was sufficiently broad, one of the considerations of registration was safety of the consumer.
Action: ACAF Secretariat
31. Following a question from a Member of the Committee on how feed salesmen would qualify for registration, Mr Steele explained that the Accreditation Panel would consider qualifications held. However, other considerations such as learning within the organisation and on the job training will all be considered towards CPD. On answering a question about whether there was a minimum qualification level for registration, Mr Steele said that the Appraisal Panel will consider applicants qualifications but also their potential. In addition, two referees are required to support applications. Applicants will receive a certificate which can be downloaded from the BSAS website.
32. The Committee commended the work being undertaken by BSAS. The ACAF Secretary asked for the NFU representative to provide views on the BSAS scheme during the question and answer session.
Agenda Item 5 – Commission Regulation 225/2012
33. The FSA Assessor (Mr Tim Franck) provided the Committee with an oral presentation on work the Food Standards Agency was carrying out on implementation of Commission Regulation 225/2012. This measure had been adopted following the German dioxin incident of 2010/11. Mr Franck reminded Members that the Committee had received a paper on the German dioxin incident in March 2011, with subsequent updates in information papers.
34. Mr Franck explained that the feed contamination incident in Germany (December 2010-January 2011) was a major incident involving dioxin contaminated fats of technical origin entering the feed chain. This followed a major dioxin incident in Ireland in 2008 caused by the process used to dry surplus food for feed use. After the 2008 incident the European Commission decided that it was not necessary to strengthen EU feed law. It considered that sufficient legislative requirements were in place and if properly enforced would be sufficient to minimise further incidents. However, following the German dioxin incident, the German authorities lobbied for further controls to be introduced and suggested a 10 point plan which contained a number of very onerous controls including:
• a positive list of all feed materials;
• financial guarantees such as insurance to be held by feed businesses to cover costs of withdrawal of feed; and
• the mandatory testing of all oils and fats.
35. The Regulation (published in the Official Journal of the European Union in March 2012) requires that feed business establishments engaged in the processing and blending of fats and oils for use in feed be approved. Approval involves a prior inspection visit by the enforcement authority before a business is allowed to operate. Registration involves the placing of establishments on a list with follow-up inspections. Previously, they only needed to be registered under EC Regulation 183/2005. Regulation 225/2012 also requires feed business operators engaged in the processing and blending of fats and oils to carry out mandatory testing for dioxins and dioxin-like PCBs of oils and fats considered to be of a higher risk of contamination. However, the requirement is waived where feed business operators can demonstrate that material received by them had previously been subject to analysis. Mr Franck explained that a new feature of Regulation 225/2012 in relation to mandatory testing is that feed business operators must instruct laboratories to whom they have sent samples for analysis, to report the results of non-compliance to competent authorities.
36. Mr Franck informed the Committee that the Agency had been working with feed compounders and the feed fats and oils industry to clarify the requirements of the legislation and develop guidance. Additionally, national legislation (an amendment to the Feed Hygiene and Enforcement Regulations) will need to be made to introduce offences and penalties. In line with standard government procedures, the Agency intends to carry out a 12 week public consultation on the amendment to national legislation which includes an impact assessment which shows the costs and benefits of the Regulation 225/2012. The Committee will be included as a consultee.
37. In response to a question from the ACAF Chairman, Mr Franck confirmed that the consultation package will include a copy of Commission Regulation 225/2012.
38. The ACAF Secretary commented that when the German dioxin incident occurred there was a lot of political pressure to introduce disproportionate measures. The UK negotiated hard to ensure that measures adopted were proportionate. The Committee supported this stance.
39. A member of the Committee asked when non-compliance was identified would the laboratory be responsible for notifying another Member State (MS) if the analysis was being undertaken outside the UK. Mr Franck said that in situations where a feed business located in the UK, submitted a sample for analysis to a laboratory in the UK, and the analytical result indicated non-compliance with the MPLs for dioxin and dioxin-like PCBs, then the UK laboratory should submit the results to the Food Standards Agency, the business’s local authority and the feed business itself. However, when a UK feed business submits samples to a laboratory in another Member State, the laboratory must submit analytical results that indicate non-compliance to its own competent authority, which is responsible for passing the results to the FSA.
40. Another Member of the Committee asked if there were any penalties for non-compliance. Mr Franck said that in the Regulations, penalties would be set to cover cases where non-compliant products were used or entered the feed or food chain. The ACAF Secretary stated that the European Commission had agreed to carry out a review of Regulation 225/2012, two years after it came into force.
Agenda Item 6 – FVO Audit Recommendations
41. At the ACAF meeting on 15 June 2012, an official from the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland (FSANI) provided Members with initial findings of the European Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) audit in Northern Ireland that took place from 21 to 30 May 2012. The audit was to evaluate the implementation and enforcement of the legislative requirements on organic fertilisers, soil improvers and animal feed (including the feed ban). The ACAF Secretary said that a draft report on the FVO audit to Northern Ireland had been issued and that the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland had responded to the draft report and produced an action plan. Similar issues had been raised with the FVO UK audit (November 2011); for example, audit of HACCP and minimization of cross-contamination. The ACAF Secretary agreed to ask colleagues from FSANI to provide Members with an update once the final report had been received.
Action: ACAF Secretariat
Agenda Item 7 – Forward Work Plan (ACAF/12/13)
42. Miss Jumnoodoo introduced paper ACAF/12/13 on horizon scanning and future work for ACAF. She asked the Committee to agree to the following suggestions to items currently in its forward work plan:
• item 3 (Handling of feed incidents) is moved to medium priority;
• items 4 (Feed issues relating to organic production) and 5 (Brominated Flame Retardants) are moved to medium priority;
• item 8 (Recommendations from the FVO visit) should be a high priority for ACAF and therefore should be moved from medium to high;
• item 7 (Aquaculture) this work area should encompass all aspects of livestock production and therefore the title of this item is amended to ‘new developments in feed for livestock species’; and
• item 12 (Forge closer links with other Advisory Committees and tackle issues of common interest) item should be strengthened and make particular reference to the Veterinary Residues Committee.
43. The Committee agreed to the above proposals.
44. Miss Jumnoodoo asked the Committee to agree that the following items should be deleted from its Forward Work Plan:
• establish if there are any feed implications from current research on the potential for multiple residues of pesticides and veterinary medicines in the food chain to cause effects on human health; and
45. The Committee agreed to the deletion of the above items from its Forward Work Plan.
46. With respect to new work Miss Jumnoodoo noted that the following item had been suggested:
• Emphasis on reduction of food waste.
47. The Committee agreed to the inclusion of the above item on its Forward Work Plan.
48. Additionally, Miss Jumnoodoo, noting the Committee’s earlier discussions on AMR, suggested and Members agreed, that this item is also placed on the Committee’s forward work plan under high priority.
49. Following Miss Jumnoodoo’s introduction, the ACAF Chairman, invited the Committee to consider each item on the forward work plan.
50. Members were generally content with the items and their position in the Forward Work Plan. However they had the following suggestions on particular work items:
Feed Safety – Potential Gaps - a Member of the Committee suggested that when preparing the paper on imports, for presentation at its January 2013 meeting, the Secretariat should liaise with the Veterinary Residues Committee as this Committee was also discussing imports.
Action: ACAF Secretariat
GM issues including future developments in biotechnology (e.g. use of second generation GMOs) and possible links with GM nutritional work - Members considered that the title for this item should be amended to encompass new and emerging technologies.
Action: ACAF Secretariat
Emphasis on reduction in food waste - the ACAF Secretariat agreed to request a presentation from colleagues in FERA on work they are carrying out in this area.
Action: ACAF Secretariat
In addition the Defra Assessor is to ask relevant colleagues in Defra to provide an action plan on publication of work being carried out by FERA.
Action: Defra Assessor
The manipulation of animal diets to enhance the nutritional value of food (milk, meat, eggs, fish) - the Committee was informed by a Member that there are a number of issues in development under this topic for example iodine and vitamin D. The Member was asked to provide the Committee with details of new developments linked to this topic.
Action: ACAF Member
51. The revised Forward Work Plan is annexed to these minutes.
Agenda Item 8 - Matters Arising from the Minutes of previous meetings
52. No items were raised under this item.
Agenda Item 9 - Any Other Business
53. The ACAF Secretary said that the ACAF’s out of London meeting in 2013 would be held somewhere in England, as Welsh colleagues were unable to host.
54. The ACAF Secretary reported that the October 2012 Standing Committee on the Foodchain and Animal Health (GM Section) will be inviting comments from Member States on extending low level presence of GM to food. The ACAF Secretary agreed to report back to Members on these discussions at the ACAF meeting on 16 January 2013.
55. The ACAF Chairman informed Members that the next General Advisory Committee on Science (GACS) would take place on 31 October 2012. He agreed to report back to Members, discussion items at the GACS meeting including work GACS was carrying out on science communication and engagement.
Date of the next meeting
56. The ACAF Chairman stated that the next meeting of ACAF would take place on 16 January 2013 in Aviation House, London.
57. The ACAF Chairman drew the Committee’s attention to the following information papers:
• EU Developments (ACAF/12/14); and,
• Update on the work of other advisory committees (ACAF/12/15).
Question and Answer Session
Judith Nelson (Agricultural Industries Confederation) – commenting on the oral presentation from Mr Franck, reported that the Agricultural Industries Confederation had launched a dioxin monitoring scheme for compound feeds. The scheme is non-statutory although it enables compounders to meet the requirement to undertake testing of the final product in accordance with HACCP principles in compliance with Article 6 of Regulation 183/2005 on feed hygiene. The scheme had started in July 2012 and the intention was to take 108 samples, over a 12 month period, at random across the UK. Out of a total of 18 samples taken so far, 15 samples had been analysed and none had exceeded the action or legal limits for dioxin/furans, dioxin-like PCBs or non-dioxin-like PCBs.
Ben Ellis (National Farmers Union) – commenting on the presentation from Mr Steele, noted that the National Farmers Union (NFU) considers that advice provided to farmers is not a huge gap in feed safety. Feed incidents which are attributable to the provision of poor advice are uncommon and generally localised. Also, market forces may influence the quality of advice given. The NFU is not opposed to any initiatives that improve the quality of advice being provided to farmers, although there may be cost implications if schemes placed emphasis on qualifications. However, after listening to the presentation and speaking with ACAF Members, Mr Ellis thought the NFU may support an appropriate continuing professional development scheme.