This study aimed to obtain insights into the presence of cadmium, lead, mercury and arsenic in feed materials and feed over time for the purpose of guiding national monitoring. Data from the Dutch feed monitoring programme and from representatives of the feed industry during the period 2007–13 were used. Data covered a variety of feed materials and compound feeds in the Netherlands. Trends in the percentage of samples that exceeded the maximum limit (ML) set by the European Commission, and trends in average, median and 90th percentile concentrations of each of these elements were investigated. Based on the results, monitoring should focus on feed material of mineral origin, feed material of marine origin, especially fish meal, seaweed and algae, as well as feed additives belonging to the functional groups of (1) trace elements (notably cupric sulphate, zinc oxide and manganese oxide for arsenic) and (2) binders and anti-caking agents. Mycotoxin binders are a new group of feed additives that also need attention. For complementary feed it is important to make a proper distinction between mineral and non-mineral feed (lower ML). Forage crops in general do not need high priority in monitoring programmes, although for arsenic grass meal still needs attention.