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Author Topic: Feeding pigs supermarket bread  (Read 5974 times)


  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Talley, Carmarthenshire
Feeding pigs supermarket bread
« on: November 02, 2012, 09:13:25 am »
There has previously been some controversy on here about feeding supermarket bread to your pigs. I was doing so, (without it passing through my kitchen) thinking I was legal and others disputed the fact.
I contacted DEFRA and have just received their response

Feed Regulations - pigs

Thank you for your email of 10 October. I have been asked to reply.

Generally speaking, where waste food is placed on the market for animal feed, the retailer will need to comply with the requirements of the Feed Hygiene Regulations (Regulation (EC) 183/2005).  There may also be obligations on you as the keeper under the Regulations.

However, if you are purchasing the bread as food and then deciding to use that food for animal feed, then the food retail premises is not responsible under the Feed Hygiene Regulations for placing feed on the market.

If you are a hobby farmer, then you may also be out of scope of the Feed Hygiene Regulations, depending on your activities.  The Feed Hygiene Regulations do not apply to the following:
a, The private domestic production of feed:
     For food producing animals kept for private consumption;
     For animals not kept for food production.[
b, The feeding of food producing animals kept for private domestic consumption or for certain other activities mentioned in the Food Hygiene Regulations.
c, The feeding of animals not kept for food production
You are also intending to store your bread in your stable and not your kitchen (so that it does not become catering waste and therefore illegal to feed).
In summary, if you have purchased in-date bread as food, take the bread home and then decide that it is intended for feeding to your pigs and remove it from the car and store it in the stable, and you are a hobby farmer operating under one of the derogations from the Feed Hygiene Regulations listed above, then you can use the bread as feed, and the requirements of the Feed Hygiene Regulations do not apply.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 09:16:21 am by Bionic »
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  • Joined Oct 2012
Re: Feeding pigs supermarket bread
« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2012, 09:30:30 am »
thats the trouble with defra they dont have a clue  :innocent:

points that should be considered.

when driving back from said supermarket did you keep the bread away from meat etc it could become contaminated then, lets face facts if you were to put your shopping in the boot its no different to keeping it in the house, if i was to keep a box of cat feed above my pig/chiccken feed and had a AHV i could be pulled up on this.

whilst they seem to give allowances for hobby keepers the diesease's that could appear are not selective a pig is a pig and all are vunerable to catching dieseases.

defra then give licence for hobby keepers to put my and other breeders pigs in danger

i always thought defra were making it up as they go but reading this has confirmed my thoughts

i think if anyone keeping pigs should also take on board all the rules and regulations set in place to protect livestock, its about time this loophole was looked into.....

sorry if i sound blunt but i want my pigs and others protected !
i it worth it feeding cheap bread etc if you work out a pigs daily feed bill its very low and has all the nutrients a pig needs a loaf of bread has addatives and not great feed value in comparison to nuts.
we can still learn if we are willing to listen.


  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Feeding pigs supermarket bread
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2012, 10:29:40 am »
I agree, I have issues with the complexity of regulation in general but with feeding  there is no inherent difference in the risks associated with feeding between a big farmer and a small one and so I cannot see how/why there would be a derogation for farmers just because they are 'hobby' farmers.
All I can see it doing is adding fuel in their own minds to the poor husbandry/dodgy practices tag some big farmers like to smear smallholders with
Very odd....


  • Joined Feb 2010
  • Anglesey
Re: Feeding pigs supermarket bread
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2012, 11:49:24 am »
To be honest I couldn't be bothered to go collect bread or whatever, take reasonable steps to keep it separate from anything else, store it and feed it to the pigs. For the dubious feed value and possible inclusion of god knows what additives it's a lot less hassle to just stick to pig feed.


  • Joined Nov 2009
  • East Sussex
    • OaklandsPigs
Re: Feeding pigs supermarket bread
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2012, 06:42:28 pm »
Bionic - interesting and Defra have produced an answer to your question rather than a definitive answer.
We need to split this between the feed hygiene regulations – in England The Feed (Hygiene and Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2005 - and The Animal by-Products Regulations 2005 – in particular Part 3.
The former put certain controls in place to ensure that only things that should be are fed to animals that are destined for the food chain, and the latter (inter alia) prevent the feeding of catering waste to pigs.
So if you don’t come under the feed hygiene regulations, then the animal by-products regulations still stop you feeding anything that has been through a catering establishment.
In essence the feed hygiene regulations apply to both producers of Animal feed and to any “business that uses animal feed” in “the production of food for Human consumption”.
The exclusions under the law include :
· the feeding of food-producing animals kept for private domestic consumption
· the feeding of animals not kept for food production
· the production of feed in some circumstances (if you are producing your own feed you should refer directly to the rules to see if you are exempt)
HOWEVER even if you come under the regulations (eg you are selling meat even to family and friends) you are NOT prevented from feeding bakery waste to animals, you simply need to register with the local authority. You then need to demonstrate that you have considered everything to prevent contamination of your feed – eg that you don’t sit the loaves next to meat in the car, equally that your grower pellets are not contaminated by pesticides ie you’re not storing you feed next to your rat poison. Unless you employ people, then this can be by a written statement stating how you get, and how you ensure that it is kept clean.  If you have employees then you get in to signage and training records – quite doable, but a little more complicated.
Technically your supplier needs to be registered as well.  If it is a supermarket, the chances are it will be as most/all of them supply something back into the animal chain, so generally are blanket registered in every county.  A baker may not be.  They must have suitable HACCP procedures in place.  I know nothing in law that requires you to check that your supplier is registered – but both laws come from long EU regs, and it is possible I have missed a bit!
So worst case you need to register and your supplier should be registered.
As for danger, the risk is direct contact with meat that has foot & mouth disease (Defra make this general disease, but it is only F&M that has ever impacted the UK or Europe).  Clearly Tesco (for instance) has procedures in place to ensure meat is never touched by people who don’t handle meat ie they have end to end separation of duties.  This includes disposal, as meat cannot go to landfill under EU 1774/2002, so is kept separate at the back of the shop as well.  Clearly a veggie would be up in arms to find that their tesco loaf has been in contact with some beef (quite rightly), and this simply doesn’t happen.  The greater risk would be an independent baker who makes for instance sausage rolls.  However even here the risk is not contact with meat but contact with a piece of meat that has come from an animal that had F&M.  This would either be bush meat that regularly comes into the UK in suitcases (Africa has F&M endemic) or there is a slight risk of  meat from countries like Argentina, who vaccinate against F&M – thus making it impossible to tell an animal that has F&M from one that has been vaccinated – and no vaccine is 100%.  Now that describes the risk, and I am certainly not advocating anyone breaks the law, but feeding bread from a registered source that has proper HACCP procedures in place, and ensuring that you do the same introduces no risk to the food chain or to other keepers of pigs.
Feeding bread to growers doesn’t really do much good, but can contribute to reducing costs for sows.
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  • Joined Nov 2009
  • East Sussex
    • OaklandsPigs
Re: Feeding pigs supermarket bread
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2012, 06:54:43 pm »
Sorry by the by - if any of you are producing food for human consumption and selling any - even to family & friends, then you need to be registered as a feed business and demonstate that you keep feed seperate from any contamination.  This applies even if you are just feeding pig nuts.
The EU regulation lists the rules.  However the current “Industry Code of Practice on Farm Feeding” covers all the requirements and is much more readable. It can be downloaded from

 you can download the registration from

The code under section 3 is :
R13      Livestock farms which do not mix feeds or mix feeds without additives
Other codes exist for growers of feed, and those who mix additives apply, see the rules if you have other farming activities which this could apply to.
You should send the competed statement to the Trading Standards Dept. of your local council. 

« Last Edit: November 02, 2012, 06:56:16 pm by oaklandspigs »
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  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: Feeding pigs supermarket bread
« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2012, 10:21:02 am »
Well done Bionic, at least you got an answer The peeps I phoned said they didn't know!
As for being able to guarantee the bread is not contaminated in the car on the way home, surely the same could apply to a sack of pig nuts?
The pig feed I bought came in paper sacks, bread comes in plastic bags. If anything I would think pig feed would be more likely to be able to be contaminated?
Anyhoo, that is all by the by as I am willing to bet that if we ALL contacted DEFRA and asked we would ALL be given a different answer  ::)
If you are going to feed bread I would make sure you print off that email and keep it safe just in case the inspector comes calling and challenges you :thumbsup:
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
but passive.

Bring the peace back

Fowgill Farm

  • Joined Feb 2009
Re: Feeding pigs supermarket bread
« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2012, 12:16:19 pm »

Feeding bread to growers doesn’t really do much good, but can contribute to reducing costs for sows.
I use supermarket bread for my retired lardies, they don't need a lot of protein as they're already in the 40 stone+ range so bread is a good filler for them and means i can keep them on a minimum pig nut intake, it goes straight from the car to the feed house and i have been known to borrow a slice or two for breakfast when we've run out in the house!
Mandy :pig:


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