6 December 1996

Nutritionists feedback…

&#8226 Peter Kenyon, Harbro

"I can see no reason for the ban on fishmeal – there seems to be little pressure from supermarkets to ban it. They are more worried about protein products masquerading as fishmeal which contain poultry offal and feathers. The omega-3-fatty acids in fishmeal are essential precursors of good reproduction. In addition, fishmeal is a valuable resource where, for example, hill sheep are receiving very little if any feed before lambing and must produce milk."

&#8226 Luppo Diepenbroek, nutritionist, Mole Valley Farmers

"If fish is deemed to be the healthiest of feeds for humans, why is it wrong for ruminants? Banning fishmeal from ruminant rations would reduce dairy cow fertility and – where milk supply to young animals is insufficient or early weaning practised – growth rates would suffer."

&#8226 Andrew Marlow, nutritionist, Genus

"I cant see any justification for banning fishmeal. Moves to exclude the product from rations are a knee-jerk reaction to whats gone before – its being squeaky clean for the sake of it."

&#8226 John Robinson, nutritionist,

SAC Aberdeen

"It is well known and scientifically proven that this protein source results in superior performance during late pregnancy and early lactation, as compared with other materials.

In the case of sheep there would be serious welfare implications in removing fishmeal from their diet in that many thousands of new-born lambs would die each year from starvation."

&#8226 Keith Jamieson, Dalgety

ruminant development manager

"We are taking fishmeal out of rations wherever we can. However, there is nutritional research that shows sheep respond well to fishmeal, and we will be offering producers a choice of rations with or without fishmeal.

There are no other sources of DUP which are as good as fishmeal. Prairie meal comes close, but its obviously expensive at the moment, although we have used it in rations for several years."

&#8226 Pete Kelly, ADAS nutrition consultant

"We can take fishmeal out of every ration and not miss it except for high yielding, over 9000-litre, dairy herds where fishmeal has a magical effect on fertility.

Once we find out exactly what is causing the fertility problem I am confident we will solve it without fishmeal."n