The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is reviewing feed regulations for beef and dairy cattle.
“The regulations we have now date back to 1983 and we really haven’t done much in the way of updating those regulations. They are 30 plus years old,” said Sergio Tolusso, national manager of the agency’s animal feed division.
“The world has changed a lot in the last 30 years.”
A comprehensive review of Canadian feed regulations started in 2012. Updated regulations for hogs have been published, and poultry standards are expected later this year. Regulations for horses, small ruminants, rabbits and fish are next.
Public comments are open until Aug. 18, and Tolusso said information on the proposals and opinions should be ready by year end.
The renewal is intended primarily to guide the feed industry when formulating rations.
“Because of changes in genetics, changes in feeding practices, changes in technology, they wanted a bit of a refresh,” he said.
Most of the changes involve mineral and vitamin levels in feed and will be set at the maximum an animal requires to meet its daily nutrition requirements.
The new regulations take into account animal type, weather, reproduction stage, lactation and type of forages and grains that are available when considering overall nutritional intake.
The old regulations did not considered forage and instead focused on prepared feed. Consequently, animals could end up with excess vitamins and minerals in the diet. These could be harmful to the cattle or people consuming meat and milk. In other cases animals excrete excess vitamins and minerals through their urine and feces and result in an environmental risk.