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Archived - Proposal - Maximum Nutrient Values in Swine Feeds

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has embarked on a comprehensive change agenda to strengthen its foundation of legislation, regulatory programs and inspection delivery. These directions set the context for the renewal of the federal Feeds Regulations (Regulations).

The goal of renewing the Regulations is to develop a modernized risk- and outcome-based regulatory framework for feeds which:

Modernization of the Regulations provides the opportunity to review feed controls, standards, labelling and other regulatory requirements. The purpose of this proposal is to review the nutrient content standards for swine set out in Table 4 of Schedule I, that have been used to exempt complete feeds and some supplements from registration, and recommend possible updates or amendments to the current requirements.

Background and Current Situation

Table 4 of Schedule I was created and incorporated into the Feeds Regulations in the 1980s as a mechanism to exempt certain groups of feeds from registration. The original Table 4 established nutrient ranges (minimums and maximums) as exemption criteria for feeds for chickens, turkeys, swine, beef and dairy cattle, and sheep. In 1990, via two regulatory amendments, the table was first expanded to include horses, goats, ducks, and geese; and then for rabbits, mink, and salmonid fish. Since that time, there have been no other substantive changes to the table or to any of the nutrient ranges.

Currently, if a complete feed provides nutrients which fall within the ranges listed in Table 4, or a supplement has directions for use which would result in a complete feed that provides nutrients which fall within the Table 4 ranges, the feed can be exempted from registration. Feeds that provide nutrients which fall outside the ranges listed in Table 4, and that do not meet any additional exemption criteria, require assessment and registration by the CFIA prior to manufacture and sale.

As indicated in the Feed Regulatory Renewal Consolidated Modernized Framework Proposal, both the CFIA and stakeholders recognize that the values in Table 4 no longer have the same nutritional relevancy that they did when the table was first introduced. Stakeholders have also indicated that they feel that Table 4 prevents innovation for new feed products. However, many of the maximum nutrient limits which are currently set in Table 4 have health and safety implications that must be considered.


As mentioned, the domestic feed industry considers that the Table 4 nutrient ranges are out of date, and that this table is no longer an appropriate regulatory tool to control feeds. However, there remains a continued need for an enforceable regulatory framework regarding maximum nutrient concentrations in livestock feeds. For instance, higher levels of certain vitamins in livestock rations (e.g., vitamins A, D, and E) can be harmful to livestock or can be concentrated into tissues that are used for human consumption, thus posing potential risk to human health. Similarly, certain minerals (e.g., copper, phosphorus and zinc) can also contribute to increased environmental risks.

An analysis of swine nutritional requirements and maximum tolerable dietary nutrient levels was conducted by the CFIA with the following scope:

Information sources used in the review of nutrient maximums in swine feeds included:


It is proposed that:

  1. Table 4 be removed from the Regulations and no longer serve as a trigger for registration of feeds based on specified ranges of nutrient content; and,
  2. Maximums be established and incorporated by reference for nutrients for which there are safety or therapeutic use concerns.

This proposed approach addresses stakeholder concerns regarding Table 4 and its relevance in current industry practices, as well as claims that the nutrient ranges provided in Table 4 impede new products from entering the marketplace. Furthermore, it addresses concerns regarding the harmful impact that higher levels of certain nutrients may have on livestock or the resulting food products, and underscores the modernized regulatory framework's focus on health and safety for humans, animals, and the environment. It is further proposed that:

Appendix I sets out the proposed maximum nutrient values for Swine feeds.

Anticipated Outcomes

This modernized regulatory approach to the oversight of maximum nutrient content in swine feeds would:

While this proposal is specific to swine feeds, future proposals will be developed for additional species subject to the Feeds Regulations and include proposed maximum nutrient values for the species in question.

Stakeholders will be provided with an opportunity to comment on all proposals, including the maximum nutrient values being suggested for each species or class of species, before they are incorporated into a regulatory framework.

References: A complete bibliography is available upon request.

Have your say

The CFIA is seeking feedback on the proposal to modify the regulatory requirements related to maximum nutrient content in livestock feed:

  • Do you have any concerns with the proposal to remove the Table 4 nutrient limits from the Feeds Regulations and no longer exempting feeds from registration based on the nutrient content of the feeds?
  • Do you have any concerns with the proposal to establish maximum nutrient values for livestock feeds?
  • Do you have any concerns with the proposed maximum nutrient values outlined in Appendix I for swine feeds?
  • Would the proposed amendments to the Feeds Regulations be effective in protecting human and animal health and the environment?
  • Are there options not mentioned in this proposal that should be explored?
  • Any additional feedback?

We strongly encourage you to provide your input and feedback, which is critically important to the success of the regulatory modernization initiative. Written comments may be forwarded by December 23rd, 2016 to:

Sergio Tolusso
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Animal Feed Division
59 Camelot Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0Y9
Fax: 613-773-7565

Appendix I – Proposed Maximum Nutrient Values for Swine Feeds

Class Current Proposed
Starter Up to 10 kg
11-20 kg
3-5 kg
6-10 kg
11-20 kg
Grower 21-60 kg 21-50 kg
Finisher 61-100 kg 51-80 kg
>80 kg
Dry Sows Breeding Breeding
Lactating Sows Lactating Lactating


Macro-minerals (%, at 88% DM (Dry Matter)

Calcium (Ca)
Class Current Proposed
Starter 2.0 1.0
Grower 2.0 1.0
Finisher 2.0 1.0
Dry Sows 2.0 1.0
Lactating Sows 2.0 1.0

Rationale: Animal Health

Phosphorus (P)
Class Current Proposed
Starter 2.0 1.0
Grower 2.0 1.0
Finisher 2.0 1.0
Dry Sows 2.0 1.0
Lactating Sows 2.01.0

Rationale: Animal Health

Magnesium (Mg)
Class Current Proposed
Starter 0.3 0.2
Grower 0.3 0.2
Finisher 0.3 0.2
Dry Sows 0.3 0.2
Lactating Sows 0.3 0.2

Rationale: Animal Health

Sodium (Na)
Class Current Proposed
Starter 0.8 1.1
Grower 0.8 1.1
Finisher 0.8 1.1
Dry Sows 0.8 1.1
Lactating Sows 0.8 1.1

Rationale: Animal Health

Potassium (K)
Class Current Proposed
Starter (3 – 5 kg) 2.0 3.0
Starter (6 – 10 kg) 2.0 2.8
Starter (11 – 20 kg) 2.0 2.6
Grower (21 – 50 kg) 2.0 2.3
Grower (51 – 80 kg) 2.0 1.9
Finisher (>80 kg) 2.0 1.7
Dry Sows 2.0 2.0
Lactating Sows 2.0 2.0

Rationale: Animal Health

Sulfur (S)
Class Current Proposed
Starter (3 – 5 kg) NRS (No Recommendation Specified) 0.2
Starter (6 – 10 kg) NRS 0.4
Starter (11 – 20 kg) NRS 0.4
Grower NRS 0.4
Finisher NRS 0.4
Dry Sows NRS 0.4
Lactating Sows NRS 0.4

Rationale: Animal Health

Trace Minerals (mg/kg, at 88% DM)

Cobalt (Co)
Class Current Proposed
Starter 5.0 1.0
Grower 5.0 1.0
Finisher 5.0 1.0
Dry Sows 5.0 1.0
Lactating Sows 5.0 1.0

Rationale: Worker Safety / Food Safety

Copper (Cu)
Class Current Proposed
Starter 125 250
Grower 125 250
Finisher 125 250
Dry Sows 125 250
Lactating Sows 125 250

Rationale: Therapeutic

Iodine (I)
Class Current Proposed
Starter 10 4.0
Grower 10 4.0
Finisher 10 4.0
Dry Sows 10 4.0
Lactating Sows 10 4.0

Rationale: Animal Health

Iron (Fe)
Class Current Proposed
Starter 750 750
Grower 750 750
Finisher 750 750
Dry Sows 750 750
Lactating Sows 750 750

Rationale: Animal Health

Manganese (Mn)
Class Current Proposed
Starter 200 125
Grower 200 125
Finisher 200 125
Dry Sows 200 125
Lactating Sows 200 125

Rationale: Animal Health

Selenium (Se)
Class Current Proposed
Starter 0.3 (added) 0.5 (total)
Grower 0.3 (added) 0.5 (total)
Finisher 0.3 (added) 0.5 (total)
Dry Sows 0.3 (added) 0.5 (total)
Lactating Sows 0.3 (added) 0.5 (total)

Rationale: Animal Health and Food Safety

Zinc (Zn)
Class Current Proposed
Starter 500 1,000
Grower 500 1,000
Finisher 500 1,000
Dry Sows 500 1,000
Lactating Sows 500 1,000

Rationale: Therapeutic

Vitamins (IU/Kg, at 88% DM) (IU = international units)

Vitamin A
Class Current Proposed
Starter 20,000 16,000
Grower 20,000 6,500
Finisher 20,000 6,500
Dry Sows 20,000 12,000
Lactating Sows 20,000 7,000

Rationale: Food Safety

Vitamin D
Class Current Proposed
Starter 1,500 2,200
Grower 1,500 2,200
Finisher 1,500 2,200
Dry Sows 1,500 2,200
Lactating Sows 1,500 2,200

Rationale: Animal Health

Vitamin E
Class Current Proposed
Starter NRS 1,000
Grower NRS 1,000
Finisher NRS 1,000
Dry Sows NRS 1,000
Lactating Sows NRS 1,000

Rationale: Animal Health

Vitamin C
Class Current Proposed
Starter NRS Remove
Grower NRS Remove
Finisher NRS Remove
Dry Sows NRS Remove
Lactating Sows NRS Remove

Rationale: Not Applicable

References: A complete bibliography is available upon request.

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