Animal feed additives

Animal feed additives are substances, micro-organisms or preparations that are deliberately added to animal feed or water. Vitamins and probiotics are two well-known examples of additives.

Animal feed additives meet the nutritional needs of animals and/or have a beneficial effect on (multiple options possible):

  • the properties of an animal feed
  • the properties of animal products
  • the colours of ornamental fish and birds
  • the environmental impact of animal production
  • animal production, performance or welfare (e.g. by affecting the gastro-intestinal flora or digestibility of the animal feed).

Animal feed additives may also be added due to their coccidiostatic or histomonostatic effects (antibiotics other than coccidiostats or histomonostats are not permitted as additives).

The legal basis of feed additives in animal feed is Regulation 1831/2003/EC. This regulation distinguishes a number of categories of feed additives.

Dossier requirements

If you would like to submit an application for an authorisation of an animal feed additive, you should prepare a dossier. This dossier must contain substantiating data on the following items:

  • quality
  • efficacy
  • accountability
  • safety for humans, animals and the environment.

The dossier must also be drawn up in accordance with the applicable guidelines.

You must submit an application for authorisation of an animal feed additive, together with this dossier, to the European Commission.

For an overview of the current guidelines see: European Commission – Animal feed safety-Guidelines. The legislation is only available in English on the European Commission website. The most important guideline is Regulation 429/2008/EC.

Do you still have questions after reading this information? For more information, please contact the Veterinary Medicinal Products Unit.

Authorised animal feed additives

The European Commission keeps a Register of Animal Feed Additives. From there, it is possible to click on links to the formal authorisation regulation of an additive. If a ‘name of the holder of authorisation’ is mentioned in an authorisation, this is the only company that may produce the additive.

The register was first published in November 2005. It is not a static list; changes can be introduced. Furthermore, the register is for information purposes only. No rights can be derived from it.