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Scientific Opinion on the safety and efficacy of Urea for ruminants

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Wiley Online Library

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Urea supplementation to feed for ruminants provides non-protein nitrogen for microbial protein synthesis in the rumen and thus in part replaces other dietary protein sources. Urea supplementation of feed for ruminants at doses up to 1 % of complete feed DM (corresponding to 0.3 g/kg bw/day) is considered safe when given to animals with a well adapted ruminal microbiota and fed diets rich in easily digestible carbohydrates. Based on the metabolic fate of urea in ruminants, the use of urea in ruminant nutrition does not raise any concern for consumers’ safety. Urea is considered to be non irritant to skin and eyes and its topical use suggests that it is not a dermal sensitiser. The risk of exposure by inhalation would be low. The substitution of protein by urea in well balanced feed for ruminants would not result in an increased environmental nitrogen load. Urea is an effective source of non-protein nitrogen substituting for dietary protein in ruminants.