HomeNewsNY Governor Nixes Hemp Seed Animal Feed Bill

NY Governor Nixes Hemp Seed Animal Feed Bill

Legislation to allow for the inclusion of hemp seed, hulls and meal in commercial animal feed has been vetoed by New York state Governor Kathy Hochul.

The passed legislation would have authorised commercial feed for a pet, specialty pet, horse, or camelid to include hemp seed or a substance derived from hemp seed, but would not have authorized such inclusion in commercial feed
for other livestock.

Industrial hemp seed provides a high protein, high fiber ingredient for animal consumption. While legal for animal feed use (with conditions) in some states including Montana – and widely used across the USA as a food for humans – other jurisdictions have balked at allowing it as a stock feed. This is mainly due to hemp’s lingering associations with marijuana and concerns about the potential for cannabinoids to contaminate animal products such as meat and milk.

The bill becoming law would have given New York an early mover advantage.

“Protecting industrial hemp production in New York will encourage greater production and research into the myriad uses of this plant, including as a renewable building material,” state notes associated with the Bill. “It will also open the door for small, New York-based animal food processors to establish this marketplace before hemp seeds are authorized for use in commercial feed nationally.”

But Governor Hochul didn’t agree. The bill was sent to the Governor’s desk on November 29, but the governor vetoed it on December 8. While a supporter of hemp, Governor Hochul is concerned that the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet to approve adding hemp seed to animal feed.

“To that end, I am directing the Department of Agriculture and Markets to work with Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to research the impacts of the use of hemp seed or hemp seed products in animal feed,” said Governor Hochul in her veto message, reported by MarijuanaMoment. “This study is to be completed in an expeditious manner to better inform the industry on the questions raised by the potential for expanded use of hemp products.”

Studies of this nature have already been performed. For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and North Dakota State University (NDSU) scientists have already determined cattle fed with highly-nutritious hempseed cake retain very low levels of cannabinoids in muscle, liver, kidney, and fat tissues.

Steven Gothrinet
Steven Gothrinet has been part of the Hemp Gazette in-house reporting team since 2015. Steven's broad interest in cannabis was initially fueled by the realisation of industrial hemp's versatility across multiple sectors. You can contact Steve here.

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