July 26, 2018


EU lowers maximum copper level in pig feeds to 25 mg/kg



The revised maximum permitted levels of copper in complete pig feeds are now officially lowered to 25 mg/kg for all ages of pigs, after publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. This is in line with European Food Safety Authority's recommendations for soil protection.


There has, however, been a political agreement that allows permitted levels of 150 mg/kg up to four weeks after weaning and 100 mg/kg up to eight weeks after weaning, according to the European Feed Manufacturers' Federation (FEFAC).


FEFAC animal nutrition committee expert Erik Dam Jensen explained that they had identified a clear risk for the health management of the pig farming sector if the copper levels for piglets would be lowered to 25 mg/kg.


"With help of the study performed by Bikker et al. (2015) and our own impact assessment, FEFAC demonstrated to the authorities that lowering the copper levels in piglet feed too soon and too much would be very critical on pig health management and performance" he said.


Predrag Persak, chairman of the FEFAC animal nutrition committee, also pointed out that dietetic copper is an essential trace element in compound feed production and that its adequate levels in piglet feed will maintain good performance and reduce the occurrence of post-weaning diarrhoea, which would need to be treated with antibiotics.