The proposed amendments by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will provide the first major update to Canada’s livestock feeds regulations in over 30 years.
Those regulations set out requirements for the importation, manufacture, and sale of feed, and feed ingredients, in Canada.
A consultation period is open and runs through to September 10, 2021, allowing stakeholders such as feed manufacturers, importers and exporters, retailers, livestock producers, veterinarians, and others, to comment on the proposals.
The move to update and replace Feeds Regulations, 1983 is part of CFIA’s regulatory modernization process. Current requirements apply mostly to products with few or none that apply to processes such as manufacturing standards and record keeping, according to the regulatory body.
While some ad hoc amendments have been made to the feed regulations since 1983 to address specific issues, the rules are largely out of date given new risks and an ever evolving operating environment.
The industry has long been awaited such a revamp. Canada's principal feed industry association signaled a need for regulatory change some time ago.
The regulations have not kept up with innovation, the management of safety risks, international standards, or science and technology, according to commentators.
Feed and livestock production sectors in Canada and abroad have also evolved considerably since 1983, operating in an environment influenced by several changing factors such as nutritional awareness, feed manufacturing and distribution, globalization of trade, recognition that feed is an integral component that underpins food production, heightened consumer awareness of food safety, and emergence of new pathogens and disease agents.
Alignment with international standards
In addition, said the regulatory body, a number of other domestic and international drivers have increased the need for a comprehensive review of the current regulatory framework.
More recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implemented a series of human and animal food safety rules that require products to be manufactured using good manufacturing practices and preventive controls to manage known or reasonably foreseeable hazards posing risks to public health. The proposed regulatory amendments would ensure alignment with the FDA’s framework. They would also ensure that a robust market access with the US is maintained, not only for feed but also for human food, acknowledged CFIA.
“Even though the feed industry would face additional costs with the proposed Regulations, there would also be many qualitative benefits, including a reduction in feed safety risks for animals, which in turn would translate into reduced food safety risks to consumers. Other qualitative benefits would include a more level playing field for the feed industry, increased international and domestic regulatory alignment, a consistent and more effective feed safety approach to inspection and oversight by the CFIA, and an enhanced reputation for Canada as a global feed safety leader,” reads the regulatory impact analysis statement.