The use of processed animal protein (PAP) in pig and poultry feed in the EU has been formally approved in an amendment to the EU feed ban regulation.
The decision means poultry protein can be included in pig feeds and pig protein in poultry feeds, under certain strict conditions, while the change also authorises the inclusion of insect proteins in poultry and pig feed.
The Commission said the new measures allow broader use of high quality protein derived from pigs, poultry and insects in feed that is locally sourced and produced in the EU and that will meet nutritional needs of some specific categories of pigs and poultry. It said the relaxation of the feed legislation would also contribute to sustainable and competitive European farming.
The decision, based on the scientific opinion by the European Food and Safety Authority, follows approval from the European Parliament and Council and the Commission’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed in April 2021.
Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety welcomed the announcement, which she described as ‘another small step in our journey towards more sustainable feed chain’.
“This decision, which achieves another milestone in the Farm to Fork strategy’s ambition towards the use of quality and sustainable feed, continues the long legacy of the European Union’s work to uphold the highest standards in animal nutrition,” she said..
The Commission said the proposal came in the wake of advances in scientific knowledge, which showed that certain specific feed ban measures implemented since 2001, as a result of the BSE crisis, were no longer justified.
It remains to be seen how the UK Government will respond, although it is looking at the science specific to the UK and planning a number of risk assessments, according to NPA senior policy adviser Rebecca Veale.
“From our perspective, we need to better understand consumer views, and retailers are a big part of this, while there are also logistical obstacles, given that feed production sites are predominantly cross sector in this country and PAP is not permitted as part of Red Tractor currently,” she said.
“We support Government doing this work because producers in this country deserve the same opportunities as producers in the EU.”
The International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF) welcomed the publication of the amended regulation.
“Our sector warmly welcomes this final step in the authorisation process of insect proteins in poultry and pig feed,” said IPIFF’s president, Adriana Casillas, who said the move would be instrumental in ‘upscaling the European insect sector’ and improve the sustainability and self-sufficiency of the European livestock sector.