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Food Standards Act 1999

Section 30: Animal feedingstuffs: Great Britain

108.The Agency has a general function of providing advice and information to Ministers in relation to animal feed. This is provided by sections 6 and 7 (by virtue of the effect feedingstuffs can have on food safety), and by section 9 in relation to the general safety of animal feed and the interests of users of feed.

109.At present, feedingstuffs are regulated under Part IV of the Agriculture Act 1970, and by regulations and Orders made under that Act, the European Communities Act 1972 and the Animal Health Act 1981.

110.This section allows Ministers to establish by order new provisions for the regulation of feed, based on the Food Safety Act 1990. Such an order, which would have the effect of updating the primary powers available for the regulation of feedingstuffs, could cover areas such as the composition, processing, treatment, manufacturing conditions and labelling of feedingstuffs.

111.The order would probably establish a general requirement for the safety of feedingstuffs (similar to the “food safety requirements” set out in section 8 of the Food Safety Act 1990), and allow further subordinate legislation to deal with more detailed requirements.

112.An order under this section can make incidental amendments and repeals to existing legislation – in practice, it would probably repeal Part IV of the Agriculture Act as it applies to feed. The application of Part IV to fertilisers would be unaffected.

113.The control of feedingstuffs is fully devolved to Scotland, and thus the order-making power is conferred on Scottish Ministers in relation to Scotland.

114.Subsection (1) enables the Ministers to regulate feedingstuffs along the lines described above.

115.Subsection (2) provides that an order made under these powers can be used to apply to animal feedingstuffs provisions which match those contained in the Food Safety Act 1990, so that food and feed may be dealt with in a similar manner. It will also allow EC requirements to be readily transposed into UK provisions under a single set of powers. This will give a more coherent body of legislation than at present where provisions are implemented under both the Agriculture Act 1970 and the European Communities Act 1972.

116.Subsection (3) provides that the power can also be used in relation to provisions of the Food Safety Act 1990, as amended by the Food Standards Act.

117.Subsection (4)(a) provides for orders made under this section to address the needs of animal health or human health and is necessary because the scope of the powers in this Act would not otherwise extend to animal health.

118.Subsection (8) provides for the order to be made jointly by the Secretary of State and the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for England and Wales, and by the Scottish Ministers for Scotland. Orders made under this section must be subject to the affirmative resolution procedure - i.e. approved in draft by each House of Parliament or by the Scottish Parliament as appropriate before being made (as required by section 37).

119.A general definition of ‘animal feedingstuffs’ is given in section 37, although this may be refined in any orders to cover specific areas. Section 37 also provides that the order can repeal or amend existing legislation as necessary.

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