New Stock Feed Labeling Requirements come into Force

27 April 2000

From 1 May 2000 manufactured stock feeds and some organic fertilisers must be labeled to ensure that products containing, or exposed to, ruminant protein are not fed to ruminant animals.

The labeling requirement is part of the Biosecurity (Ruminant Protein) Regulations 1999 that impose a prohibition on feeding ruminant protein such as meat and bone meal to ruminant animals such as sheep, cattle, deer, alpacas and goats. The regulations do not apply to milk and dairy products.

The feed ban is to manage the risk to New Zealand of an outbreak of a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). If such a disease was to occur in livestock here it could be amplified and spread in stock feed in the absence of an effective feed ban.

Feed that may be fed lawfully to ruminants must be labeled accordingly, for example:

"Notice: suitable for feeding to calves"

Feed that contains or has been exposed to ruminant protein, and fertiliser containing ruminant protein, 'blood and bone' for example, must be labeled, for example:

"Notice: not to be fed to sheep, cattle, deer, alpacas, goats and other ruminant animals"

The responsibility for applying labels lies with the producers, traders and distributors of manufactured stock feeds and organic fertilisers. It is an offence to deface, remove, obscure or alter labels required under the ruminant protein regulations.

Farmers and other ruminant owners are responsible for observing the notices, storing the two categories of feed separately, ensuring ruminant animals are denied access to poultry or pig feeds and informing their families and staff about the feed ban.


For more information contact:

Barry O’Neil, Director, MAF Biosecurity, Tel. 04-474-4128 or
Ashley Edge, Policy Adviser, MAF Biosecurity, Tel. 04-474-4213

Contact MPI

for general enquiries phone

0800 00 83 33