National feed audit inspection

Information for farmers about inspections the Animal and Plant Health Agency carries out on farm records, feed and its storage.

Who gets inspected

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) inspects farms to make sure they’re following feed rules to prevent cases of animal diseases, including transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs).

Factors that mean a farm may be prioritised for inspection include:

  • known welfare issues
  • known cattle identification issues
  • the use of mobile mixers on farm
  • presence of ruminant on-farm mixers (those that mix their own feed)
  • farms with multiple species

APHA consider ruminant farm mixers and organic feeds a higher risk and will inspect them more often.

10% of visits are reserved for hobby farms where the use of household scraps as feed is a higher risk.

APHA may also inspect following a complaint or report of mis-feeding animals.

What gets inspected

On-site records (such as fish meal purchases), feed, and feed storage.

Time and length

Feed audits take about 1 hour.

What happens next

If feed is non-compliant, APHA inspectors look at the cause of contamination and make a decision based on the risk. Depending on the severity, feed may have to be removed from the market, and cattle may be restricted or killed.

Unless feed has been mixed or enhanced on site, any feed issue identified is followed up with the manufacturers and wholesalers of the feed.

Published 12 January 2016