June 28, 2021
EU may permit use of processed animal protein in animal feed
The European Union could once more permit the use of processed animal protein (PAP) in feed for farm animals.
This development followed an attempt by a coalition of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) that failed to overturn an European Commission proposal during the meeting of the Environment Committee of the European Parliament. The proposal will mainly allow the use of insect proteins and non-ruminant proteins (collagen and gelatin) in poultry and pig feed.
The use of mammalian processed animal protein (MAP) in cattle and sheep feed was banned by the EU in 1994 after an outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). In 2001, to avoid cross-contamination, the ban on the use of PAP in feed was extended to all farm animals in the EU.
However, during the last few years, there has been some pressure to reconsider the ban. The last case of BSE in cattle in the EU was in 2016, and 24 of the 27 member states are classified as "negligible BSE risk status."
According to proponents supporting the reintroduction of the use of PAP, there is a structural protein deficit in the EU. Reintroducing the possibility of using other protein sources can reduce the EU's dependence on imports and, at the same time, improve the sustainability of the food and livestock chain.
The reintroduction of PAPs would also contribute to EU policies on the protein plan as well as policies on deforestation-free supply chains.
Additionally, the use of PAPs will optimise the use of scarce resources and avoid waste. The reintroduction of non-ruminant PAPs is fully in line with the objectives of the EU's Farm to Table Strategy and the Circularity Action Plan.
The reintroduction will also create a new market for EU poultry, pig and insect producers as well as for feed manufacturers.