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This article applies to selling in: United Kingdom

UK labelling requirements of pet food

Since the majority of the pet foods are composed of more than one feed material and therefore fall under the definition of compound pet food, this section is focused on compound pet food labelling requirements. Ensure that you have read the legislation and complied with all the relevant requirements if your product is a feed material only.

Product type Location of information Mandatory Mandatory if applicable Voluntary
Pet food prepacked item Physical label (either on the packaging or an attached label)
  • Product description [Refer to point 1 mentioned below]
  • Animal species for which the product is intended, that is, adult dog.
  • Instructions for proper use. [Go to point 2 mentioned below]
  • Feed material declaration using the header “Composition”. [Go to point 3 mentioned below]
  • Business information of feed business operator. [Go to point 4 mentioned below]
  • Business information of the producer. [Go to point 11 mentioned below]
  • Net quantity [Go to point 5 mentioned below]
  • Indication of the minimum storage life. [Go to point 6 mentioned below]
  • Batch number
  • Analytical constituents using the header “Analytical constituents”. [Go to point 7 mentioned below]
  • A free telephone number or a website, or a dedicated consumer care line etc. for communication.
  • Moisture content [Go to point 8 mentioned below]
  • Additives declaration using the header “Additives”. [Go to point 9 mentioned below]
  • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) labelling. [Go to point 10 mentioned below]
  • A quantitative ingredient and/or additive declaration when emphasised on the label by word, image or graphs.
  • Nutritional and sensory additives can also be declared under “analytical constituents” along with the total amount thereof.
  • Claims regarding pet food content, nutrients etc.
  • Energy value
Dietetic pet food/PARNUTs prepacked item Physical label (either on the packaging or an attached label)

Labelling requirements as per general pet food mentioned above, along with:

  • The term “dietetic” labelled next to product description.
  • Essential nutritional characteristics, i.e. fibre enhanced feed; high level of vitamin A.
  • For which nutritional purposes the feed is intended to be used, that is “Nutritional restoration, convalescence” (full list available here ).
  • The declarations prescribed in column 4 of the list of intended uses which is set out in the Annex, Part B of Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/354 .
  • Any additional labelling requirements according to column 6 of the list of intended uses set out in the Annex, Part B of Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/354 .
  • The recommended length of time for use, either the range or the precise time.
  • An indication that the opinion of a nutrition expert or veterinarian should be sought before using the feed or before extending its period of use.

As mentioned above, however additionally;

  • In the case of complementary pet food intended for particular nutritional purposes guidance on the balance of the daily ration must be provided in the instructions for use.

As mentioned above however;

  • Claims related to the dietetic pet food can only be made for the indications that are laid down in Annex I Part B of Commission Regulation (EU) 2020/354 , and when the product complies with the essential nutritional characteristics therein.
Pet food and dietetic pet food prepacked item Product detail page for pet food including dietetic pet food (distance selling)

Pet food including dietetic pet food labelling requirements for distance selling are the same as mentioned above, but for the following information that is not required:

  • business name and address of the feed business operator responsible for the labelling,
  • batch number,
  • net quantity and
  • the minimum storage life for the feed.

As mentioned above. As mentioned above.

  1. Product description of pet food can be either ‘feed material, ‘complete feed’ or ‘complementary feed’; for pets other than cats or dogs ‘complete feed’ may be replaced by ‘compound feed’. For example: “A complete feed for adult dogs”.
  2. The instructions for proper use indicates how to provide a daily ration in terms of amounts required to be fed relative to the life stage, the lifestyle and the size of the pet. Complementary pet food and feed materials containing additives in excess of the maximum levels fixed for the complete pet food shall state the maximum quantity in order to ensure that respective maximum contents of feed additives in the daily ration are complied with. In principle, for dry pet food a statement to ensure fresh water availability should be provided.
  3. The list of feed materials must indicate the name of each feed material declared in descending order of weight. Feed material declaration can be by category names as defined in the EU legislation (e.g. meat and animal derivatives, vegetables, cereals, minerals, etc.) or by single ingredient names (e.g. dehydrated chicken protein, wheat, soybean meal, corn starch, etc.). List of feed materials can found here.
  4. The name or business name and the address of the feed business operator responsible for the labelling must be printed on the pack. If any, the Establishment Approval Number must be provided in addition to the business address.
  5. Net quantity expressed in weight (solid products) or in volume (liquid products) or by unit.
  6. “Use before...” in the case of microbiologically highly perishable pet food, followed by the date (day, month and year). “Best before...” followed by the date (month and year) in the case of other pet food.
  7. The mandatory declaration of analytical constituents is related to the type of feed and/or the target animal species. For complementary and complete pet food analytical constituents include, for example, crude protein, crude fibres, crude fat and crude ash.
  8. The moisture content of the feed must be stated if it exceeds: 5% in the case of mineral feed containing no organic substances; 7% in the case of milk replacer feeds and other compound feed with a milk-product content exceeding 40%;

    10% in the case of mineral feed containing organic substances and 14% in the case of other feed.

  9. Feed additives with a legal maximum limit, feed additives where the recommended maximum contents are exceeded and additives belonging to the categories “zootechnical additives” or “coccidiostats and histomonostats” must be declared on the label. Category or functional group name of the additive used along with the legal name and/or identification number and the amount added should be given. Where the additives are not authorised for all animal species, the species of animals for which the feed material is intended must be labelled.
  10. Pet food consisting of or containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or derivatives of GMO products must specify this information either in the components list or in a footnote printed in, at least, the same font size or must contain the statement “This product contains genetically modified [name of] organism(s)”.
  11. In cases where the producer is not the person responsible for the labelling, the name or business name and the address of the producer, or, where available, the Establishment Approval Number, must also be provided.

BREXIT: UK Government Guidance

The UK Government has released guidance on selling products in GB and NI after Brexit. We encourage you to visit the following UK government website for guidance on changes that may affect you from January 1, 2021:

https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/the-uk-transition

Additional information

We encourage you to visit the Business Companion website, which contains guidance on UK pet food labelling rules.

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