Relaxing animal protein ban meets opposition

Proposals to lift the ban on having meat-and-bone-meal back in livestock rations have resulted in a fierce debate, mainly in the UK and France.
calendar icon 6 June 2007
clock icon 3 minute read
EU experts have said they want the rule relaxed to allow pig feed to be supplemented with poultry remains and vice versa.

But farming leaders and scientists said that while such a practice may be safe, it would not be countenanced by the public. Supermarkets have also stressed that they would not sell meat produced in this way.

Pressure to ease the seven-year old ban comes from the EU’s Economic and Social Committee (EESC). Minutes from a meeting held by the committee in December say tests have already shown there is no safety risk from adding pig remains to chicken or poultry parts to pig feed.

To this end the EU has invested around €1.5 million to develop tests designed to distinguish between different types of animal feed.

The EESC has released a statement to ease the uproar.

It says that, following the BSE-TSE crisis, a series of restrictive measures were taken in order to combat BSE including an agreement on a ban of feeding meat-and-bone meal to pigs and poultry, which was reached by the Council of Ministers. This ban, in place since 1 January 2001, was to be kept under review.

In this context the Committee says that it has looked into the recent scientific evidence concerning the risk of transmission of BSE-TSE in livestock and discussed the possibility of reducing restrictions that concern the production and use of processed animal proteins, including meat-and-bone meal in livestock, focusing on the economic implications.

However, while also giving all due importance to the protection of animal and human health, this own-initiative opinion was intended to ensure an appropriate follow-up to previous initiatives by the Committee. It provided an opportunity to update an Opinion adopted by the Committee in 2001 on health rules concerning animal by-products not intended for human consumption.

The Committee says it did not and does not ask to lift the ban of feeding meat-and-bone meal to pigs and poultry. More over, suggests that the European Commission pursue and step up as swiftly as possible the studies currently under way which clearly show that the use of meat meal from non-ruminants can be used in pig and poultry feed without posing any danger to human health.

Source: Allaboutfeed
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