Animal Feedingstuffs – Undesirable Substances

Undesirable substances (contaminants) are defined in legislation as:
‘Any substance or product, which is present in a product intended for animal feed and which presents a potential danger to animal health, human health or environment or could adversely affect livestock production’.

There have been several crises involving undesirable substances due to unregulated importing / exporting and manufacturing processes. These have been publicised worldwide and have culminated in a heavy financial burden to producers and traders.


Legislation on animal feed is harmonised at European Union level. It applies primarily to feed for farmed livestock, and also covers horses, pets, farmed fish, and captive animals.

European Council Directive (CR)2002/32/EC sets maximum permitted levels (MPLs) for undesirable substances and is transposed into regional law within the EU. Feed with levels above the MPLs is deemed to be unsafe and must be withdrawn and disposed of outside the feed and food chains. Feedingstuffs must now comply with MPLs irrespective of any further processing

The European CR2002/32/EC is continuously updated to include revised MPLs or add new substances of concern.


SAL can service this directive and also offer associated analysis including:

  • Heavy Metals – As, Cd, Hg, Pb
  • Dioxins and Furans
  • PCB (WHO 12) – ‘dioxin like’
  • PCB (ICES 6)
  • PAH
  • Mycotoxins
  • PBDE
  • Organochlorine Pesticides


  • Offer quick, efficient and economic service
  • Highly responsive to turnaround requirements in ‘positive release’ situations
  • ISO EN 17025 accredited testing
  • Reports with analytical results versus MPLs – rapid assessment of batch status
  • Expertise in undesirable substance analysis for Agri and Aquaculture sectors
  • Electronic access to all reports / data through on-line reporting system

For more information on SAL’s Animal Feedingstuffs services, please contact your local laboratory or contact us online.