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Animal Feed

Volume 506: debated on Thursday 4 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what recent estimate he has made of the average fishmeal content of organic pig and poultry feed; (319569)

(2) what assessment he has made of the contribution of fishmeal to the nutritional content of organic pig and poultry feed;

(3) what recent research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) undertaken on the effect on the organic classification of organic pig and poultry feed of the increase in fishmeal content.

EU rules for organic production (contained in Council Regulation 834/2007 and Commission Regulation 889/2008) require organic livestock to be fed entirely on organically produced feed. However, until 1 January 2012, they also permit 5 per cent. of the feed for organic pigs and poultry to be composed of conventionally produced materials when sufficient organic feed cannot be obtained. This concession currently allows for difficulties with sourcing protein ingredients for organic pig and poultry feed to be accommodated. DEFRA's Advisory Committee on Organic Standards is investigating the role that fishmeal can play, as a protein source for organic pig and poultry feed, when the requirement for these animals to be given 100 per cent. organic feed begins on 1 January 2012.