The introduction of hemp into animal feed is a complex issue which needs to be appropriately addressed as interest in hemp in feed continues to grow nationwide despite legal and safety uncertainties that exist.
In 2017, the Colorado Legislature unanimously passed a bill that directs the CDA to complete a study on the issues (benefits and concerns) surrounding industrial hemp being included in animal feed. A copy of the bill is attached. The study is not a scientific study, but rather an analysis of legal, practical, and business issues.
The study was comprised of stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds who can provide important input on this topic. The stakeholder group will included:
- Professional industrial hemp producers and processors
- National hemp associations
- Food and Drug Administration (Center for Veterinary Medicine)
- United States Department of Agriculture
- Animal nutritionists and veterinarians
- Association of American Feed Control Officials and other animal feed associations
- University faculty members that study industrial hemp
- Agriculture departments from other states
- Livestock associations
- Agribusiness leaders and experts in agricultural exportation
- Pet food and livestock feed manufacturers/distributors
The study concluded with a report for the Colorado Legislature at the end of 2017. The review that highlights: 1) the requirements for any part of the hemp plant to be considered an approved (legal) ingredient, and 2) the broad concerns and benefits that need to be considered based on stakeholder feedback, such as animal health and safety.
The group was broken down into sub-groups based on topics that included:
- Regulatory requirements
- Animal nutrition and safety
- Agricultural economics