ITALY, Parma. EFSA has proposed modifications to the maximum levels of copper in feed for some animal groups. It recommends a reduction in the maximum copper content in feed for piglets, cattle and dairy cows, and an increase in feed for goats. The proposed levels would reduce the amount of copper released into the environment, which could potentially play a role in reducing antimicrobial resistance.
The recommended levels are considered sufficient to satisfy the nutritional needs for copper of these animal groups.
The FEEDAP Panel’s work is based on an extensive systematic literature review and data collected from Member States and stakeholders.
The Panel estimates that the reduction of copper in feed for piglets would reduce the release of copper into the environment through manure by 20%.
In the scientific opinion, EFSA experts also suggest that reducing copper in feed could help to reduce antimicrobial resistance in pigs and in the environment. This is because some studies indicate – as one of several hypotheses – that the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance could potentially be linked to the genetic proximity of some antibiotic and copper resistance genes.