11 February 2000

MAFF additive plan will cost UK £10m

A MAFF proposal to stop additives being fed to farm animals unless they are incorporated in feed will cost the UK farming and feed supplements industries at least £10m, a leading nutrition consultant has warned.

MAFF predicted it would cost a total of £100,000. The feed additive provision is included in December 1999s draft Feeding Stuff Regulations, which may come into force as early as May of this year.

But it has existed in an EU directive since the early 1970s, only to be ignored by the UK government until now because of welfare issues for livestock farming, according to Michael Putnam.

He has been hired by a group of feed supplement industry representatives, the George Group, to lead the fight against the proposals.

"We think the proposal is unnecessary and should, therefore, be dropped," he said, although he accepts that MAFF is under pressure from the EU to implement the directive.

If it is not dropped the group wants to see provisions made to enable certain products to be given licenses so they can still be used. Other EU member states which have drafted in regulations have established their own local authorisation procedure to get around the problem, Mr Putnam said. &#42