Feed Regulatory Changes Expected to Reduce Livestock's Environmental Footprint

CANADA - The Animal Nutrition Association of Canada says eliminating Table-4 of the Feeds Act will allow the formulation of feeds that will better match the nutritional needs of animals while reducing their environmental footprint, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 20 April 2016
clock icon 3 minute read

As part of it's modernization of Canada's feed regulatory framework, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is proposing replacing Table-4 of the Feeds Act with maximum inclusion levels.

Matt Einarson, a Director with the Animal Nutritional Association of Canada and Managing Director of EMF Nutrition, says the feed industry has been asking for regulations to catch up with changing technology for 20 years.

Matt Einarson-Animal Nutritional Association of Canada:

I think, from a producer perspective, a lot of times we've got the technologies that we've been able to improve efficiencies to the point where we no longer need to feed within those guidelines.

So, are we unnecessarily challenging the animal with excess minerals?

Is that playing a role in the excretion of minerals that are unnecessary?

Is there an additional cost associated with adding these particular nutrients over and above what's necessary?

I think, from a maximum standpoint, obviously those exist to ensure that toxicity isn't an issue but, in large part, we're talking about micro minerals here in which case the opportunity to feed less is something that we would focus on rather than feeding more.

That being said, there was opportunity and still exists to be opportunity through technologies like enzymes, phytase in particular, where we can lower the amount of added phosphorus within the diet however within Table-4 we were required to include minimum amounts of added phosphorus.

Now we'll be able to go below those amounts without having any regulatory impact which should help to reduce the amount of excreted phosphorus in hog diets, again all playing it's part in reducing the environmental footprint of animal agriculture.

Einarson expects it will take another year for the regulatory changes to take effect but, when they do, they'll be embraced.

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