EU's Plan for Pig Remains Causes Rage

IRELAND - While the EU's plan to permit pig remains to be used as poultry feed could save farmers millions, animal rights activists and certain religious sects are enraged by this plan.
calendar icon 5 May 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

According to the Irish Examiner, seventy million chickens are produced in Ireland annually, but the price of cereal feed has soared.

The use of animal protein in animal feeds was banned in Europe after the BSE (mad cow disease) crisis more than a decade ago.

Suggestions from EU officials in Brussels of a return to the use of animal remains in farm feeds have angered animal rights campaigners and Muslim organisations.

Objectors claim the move would put families at risk, offend religious sensibilities and spark a consumer backlash. Muslims are among the fastest-growing ethnic groups in Ireland with a population of 32,539, according to the 2006 census.

An EU project looking at testing methods is due for completion in 2009.

At the height of the BSE crisis in 1994, the EU banned the use of animal remains for farm feed-stuffs, but, under technical recommendations published in 2005, outlined proposals that in future some bans might be relaxed.

Since then costs of cereals have risen dramatically and the EU proposal is linked to these price rises.

Only poultry feed would be exempt from the current ban on the use of animal remains. The practice of feeding the remains of ruminants, mostly cows and sheep, to other ruminants — a process linked to the spread of BSE — would still be outlawed.

View the Irish Examiner story by clicking here.

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