Saturday, February 23, 2008

Animal Feed

Animal feed in USA is regulated by FDA?s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM)

A feed ingredient is a component part or constituent or any combination/mixture added to and comprising of the feed. Feed ingredients might include grains, milling byproducts, added vitamins, minerals, fats/oils, and other nutritional and energy sources. Animal feeds provide a practical outlet for plant and animal byproducts not suitable for human consumption.

We are putting lot of emphasis on animal feed because of its Halal status and USDA has identified the first BSE case in a Washington state dairy cow in December 2003.

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is common name for mad cow disease. Although the main cause of disease is not known but it is due to the infectious form of protein, prions found in BSE infected cows. It is a fetal disease affecting the nervous system of adult cows. This disease could be transfer to other cows if the animal feed is made from the infected part of the animals. Since 1997, FDA has banned the use of animal brain and spinal cord material in animal feed giving to cattle, sheep and goats. FDA is considering this ban to chicken feed and is outlawing the use of cattle blood in livestock feed, use of cow brain, other part in dietary supplements. It is now considering new restrictions of downer cattle or mechanically separated beef in canned soups and frozen pizza.

Among FDA's actions are new rules for cattle feed that:

  • Prohibit mammalian blood and blood products from being fed to cattle or other ruminant animals.
  • Ban chicken waste from livestock feed.
  • Ban the use of uneaten meat and other scraps from large restaurants from being recycled into cattle feed.
  • Require factories that make both livestock feed and feed for other animals that use bovine ingredients to have separate production lines to guard against accidental contamination.

Cattle and Sheep Feed composition:

  • The feed for cattle & sheep varies in composition. Fresh feeds are the feeds that are grazed or fed as fresh cut.

A typical animal feed is made of the following:

Feed names:

  • Dry matter,

  • Crude Protein

  • Crude, Acid Detergent and Neutral Detergent Fibers

  • Minerals

  • Vitamins

  • Energy

A typical composition of feeds for cattle and sheep obtained from the following materials:

Alfalfa, Ammonium sulfate, Barley, Been, Blood meal, Beet, Bone meal, Brewer Grain both wet & dry, Brewer yeast dried (byproduct of beer making), Broom Grass, Carrot, Cattle Manure dried, Clover, Coffee dried, Corn, Defluorinated phosphate, Dicalcium phosphate, Distiller Grains, Fat from Poultry, Fathered Meal Hydrolyzed, Garbage Municipal cooked, Grains, Grape, Hominy feed, Hop leaves, Hops spent, Limestone Ground, Meat Meal, Minerals, Molasses, Oats, Peanuts, Potato, Poultry Litter dried, Poultry Manure dried, Rape meal, Rye, Safflower, Sorghum, Soybean, Sunflower Meal, Timothy Hay, Triticale, Urea 46%N, Different wheat products and different types of Hays.

Poultry Feed:

Poultry feeds are designed to contain all protein, Energy, Vitamins and other nutrients. Poultry feed is also available with several type of medications to prevent diseases. A typical poultry feed consists of following ingredients:

  • Ground Yellow Corn
  • Wheat middling
  • Soy (44% CP)
  • Corn Gluten Meal
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Wheat
  • Meat & Bone (50% CP)
  • Alfalfa meal (dehydrated)
  • Fat

There are a lot of different labels applied to beef these days, so let's go through what they mean under rules set by the US Department of Agriculture.

  • Organic: The organic label does apply to beef and has the backing of a legal standard and a certification system. In the case of beef, organic means that the animal (1) has undergone no genetic modification; (2) was fed grain that was not genetically modified and was free of chemical pesticides, fertilizers, animal byproducts and other adulterants; (3) was not treated with antibiotics, growth hormones, or chemical pesticides. Animals raised for organic meat must also have access to the outdoors, though that doesn't necessarily mean that they spend the majority of their time roaming the open grasslands.
  • Free Range: This label is still mostly ungoverned by a legal standard and shouldn't be relied on to determine whether the cow actually spent most of its time on the open plains eating grass or that it ate any particular type of feed. "Free Range" is sometimes also called "free roaming."
  • Natural This is another mostly meaningless term. As the USDA puts it: "All fresh meat qualifies as natural." Meat labeled "natural" (1) cannot contain any artificial flavor or flavoring, coloring ingredient, chemical preservative, or any other artificial or synthetic ingredient; and (2) can only be minimally processed (ground, for example). The USDA requires that meat packages labeled "natural" also include a statement clarifying the use of the term (such as "no added coloring"). In any event, animal byproducts are not specifically prohibited in the feed of cows raised for "natural" beef (though some beef labeled natural may indeed be free of animal byproducts).
  • Grass Fed: You'd think that any package of beef labeled "Grass Fed" would mean that the cow ate only grass. But given that all cows eat grass at least in the early stages of their lives, shady dealers could legally apply the "Grass Fed" label to beef from normal feed-lot cattle. This makes it necessary for you to ensure the label says "100% Grass Fed," "Grass Fed Only" or something similar that does not leave any loopholes. Beef raised only on grass may be slightly less tender than "normal" beef, but it has less overall fat, less saturated fat, higher vitamin A content, and more of the omega-3 fatty acids that help maintain healthy cells in your body. Beef that is 100% grass-fed may or may not be organic?all requirements under the organic standard would still have to be met for "100% grass fed" beef to be labeled organic.

  • No Antibiotics/No Hormones ? Beef with either of these labels must be from a cow that was raised without the use of antibiotics or synthetic hormones over its entire lifetime. While both of these characteristics are desirable in your package of beef, neither has any bearing on BSE.

  • No Animal Byproducts ? The regulations behind this label are not as strong as for the organic standard, but it's reasonable to assume that the label means what it says, that no animal byproducts were used in the feed of the cow(s).

  • Irradiation ? Meat that has been irradiated to reduce bacteria levels must be labeled "Treated by Irradiation" or "Treated with Radiation." However, the irradiation levels used on beef do not deactivate the BSE disease agent.

  • Prime, Choice, and Select ? These USDA grades are a subjective measure of quality and imply nothing about how the cow was raised or whether it's free of BSE (Grinning Planet).

Halal animal Feed:

The first step in the Halal animal feed is that the cattle, goats, sheep and poultry were not treated with growth hormones. The animals and poultry have been feed only vegetarian feed, organic feed (if it is made with plant based ingredients) and Amish feed (if it is made with plant derived ingredients).

Although certified organic feeds consist of no animal derived ingredients but some organic feeds are made of fish meal and crab meal. Crab meal is not acceptable to Hanafi Muslims because it is not as fish.

The problem with Amish feed is there is no regulation and no supervision of the Amish feeds but the main thing is that it should be made with vegetable based ingredients.

Looking at the above composition of cattle, sheep and poultry feeds, Muslims in the Zabiha meat and the Halal certification business should pay more attention to animal feeds

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