Adjustment of animal protein regulations to stimulate circular economy in EU

Changes to animal by-product regulations could make a valuable contribution to creating a circular economy. A proposal currently under scrutiny may provide animal feed producers with a new source of protein.

The European Commission proposes to expand the range of proteins that can be used as an ingredient for animal feed. These are safe animal proteins from pigs and poultry, which are not used for human consumption, so-called PAPs (Processed Animal Proteins). With this, the EU makes it possible for producers of PAPs to make a further contribution to the desired circular economy and the European Green Deal.

EFPRA (European Fat Processors and Renderers Association) is positive about the proposal. “With PAPs we can ensure high quality proteins in animal diets. Important for the animals and a contribution to make the European economy more sustainable.” EFPRA has listed information about PAPs in a short publication: The facts about Processed Animal Proteins (PAPs).

The relationship between humans and animals is centuries old: they provide each other with food. Raw materials, producers and consumers are connected worldwide in this way. By-products from meat production which aren’t used for human consumption are still given a useful purpose. For example, by using them after processing as a raw material for food for other animals.

Change for PAPs

The European processors of animal by-products are able to produce safe, healthy and sustainable proteins (PAPs) for animal feed through numerous innovations and the development of quality control systems. A wide range of by-products has been used in recent decades for, among other things, aqua feed and for pets such as dogs and cats.

The EU proposed amendment to EU Directive 1969/2009 and 142/2011 that allows PAPs from pigs and poultry to feed poultry and pigs. Preventing waste of these valuable raw materials contributes to the development of the desired European circular economy and the Green Deal.

Added value

In the 1930s and 1940s, all parts were already used in the processing of a slaughtered animal. From grease for making soap and skins for leather, to bristles for brushes and fur for knitting wool. In the 21st century, it is even common to replace a broken human heart valve with that of a pig. In the past half century, the small-scale processing of animal by-products has been transformed into a sustainable high-tech industry. An industry that can give all parts of animals a new sustainable value and that gives the idea of a circular economy a solid form and content.