Feed and Pet Food

Feed is an umbrella term which refers to all foodstuffs intended for domestic animals. This includes both fodder for agricultural livestock and food for pets kept in the home. In the latter case, this usually means pet food, the main forms of which are those intended for consumption by dogs, cats, fish, rodents, birds and reptiles.

These foodstuffs are specially designed to cater to the physiological needs of specific kinds of animals. Ready-made feeds are classified either as dry feed or wet feed, depending on moisture content. As a rule, pet food is produced industrially and over 90 % is bought in by pet owners.

European Animal Feed Law

The production and use of foodstuffs are strictly regulated both at the EU and the national levels. This applies to productive livestock (food-producing animals, horses and animals kept for their furs) as well as to pets. The basic regulation for food (Regulation [EC] No. 178/2002) established a new principle of responsibility in Europe. Food and feed producers bear the sole responsibility for ensuring the safety of the products which they produce. Based on this principle, numerous EU regulations were issued and are valid in all member states.

The Composition and Analysis of Feed

Feed is subject to strict controls and is tested with regard to its composition (protein, fat, ash, fibre, moisture). Feed can also be enriched with minerals or vitamins. Toxins and residues, such as microbiological parameters, are also investigated.