Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) as a feed additive for pigs, piglets, bovines, ovines, calves, equines, chickens for fattening, turkeys, other poultry, fish and other animal species or categories, based on a dossier submitted by Fermenta Biotech Ltd
The principal physiological role of vitamin D in all vertebrates is in calcium and phosphorus homeostasis. The classic clinical deficiency syndrome is rickets. The FEEDAP Panel notes that for turkeys for fattening, equines, bovines, ovines and pigs the maximum content for vitamin D3 in feed does not provide any margin of safety, and that, except for pigs, the maximum content is above the upper safe level, according to National Research Council data when animals were fed a supplemented diet for more than 60 days. No safety concern was identified for the use of vitamin D3 in chickens for fattening and fish. The FEEDAP Panel is not in a position to draw final conclusions on the safety of vitamin D for target animals but considers the current maximum contents temporarily acceptable pending a review of the recent scientific literature. Current nutritional surveys in 14 European countries showed that vitamin D intake is sufficiently below the upper safe limit. The FEEDAP Panel assumes that foodstuffs of animal origin were produced following current production practices, including vitamin D3 supplementation of feed and concludes that the use of vitamin D in animal nutrition at the currently authorised maximum dietary content has not and will not cause the tolerable upper intake level to be exceeded. Vitamin D3 should be considered as irritant to skin and eyes, and as a skin sensitiser. Inhaled vitamin D3 is highly toxic; exposure to dust is harmful. No risk to the environment resulting from the use of vitamin D3 in animal nutrition is expected. The vitamin D3 under application is regarded as an effective dietary source of the vitamin in animal nutrition.