For questions about Processed Animal Proteins (PAPs), go to the dedicated PAPs - Questions and Answers section.

It is a factory that processes the unwanted meat by-products into a range of materials that can be reused or disposed of safely. The two main products of the plant are fat, known as tallow, and meat and bone meal.

High demand for animal products, has resulted in a large increase in the amount of animal by-products that must be disposed of safely. It is important to dispose of it in a way that does not pose a health risk to animals, humans or the environment.

In the EU, every year 328 million pigs, sheep, goats, beef and dairy cattle are slaughtered along with 6 billion chickens and turkeys. There is also 2.45 million tons of fallen stock - animals that die on farm or are culled due to disease risk. The majority of the material entering a rendering plant originates from slaughterhouses or farms but butcher shops, supermarkets, restaurants, animal shelters and vets also contribute.

All of this animal by-product is sent to meat rendering plants to be disposed of safely. At a European meat rendering plant, all waste will be categorised into one of three categories, depending on the level of risk and is processed and reused in different ways.

There are two types of meat rendering plants, the first is an integrated rendering plant, and operates alongside a slaughterhouses or poultry processing plant. The second is an independent rendering plant which receives its waste from a variety of sources and usually have several separate streams to process different types of waste.

A meat rendering plant is therefore a plant responsible for disposing of animal-by products and turning them into reusable materials safely.

Fat rendering can be a process that is undertaken personally in cooking or industrially, and is simply the separation of fats, proteins and water through heat and pressure. Industrially this is a process that is used in the meat rendering industry to sterilise and stabilise animal by-products allowing them to be reused.

Animal by-products need to be disposed of in a safe way; across the world huge numbers of animals are slaughtered for meat consumption which produces a significant quantity of inedible surplus material.

The fat rendering process is different depending on the source material and if it is edible or inedible. Edible rendering heats the materials in a melt tank and separates the protein solids from the fat and water. The fat and water is then heated with steam and edible fat is separated. Throughout this process heat contact is minimal and no cooking vapours are emitted. Inedible rendering on the other hand, can be both dry and wet, wet can be high cost and requires energy and water to boil the material. Dry rendering is when the animal by-product is dehydrated continuously till the fat is released. following this the protein and fat are separated.

There are many different methods of rendering fat, the one used depends on the source material and the desired product.

If livestock dies on a farm it must be disposed of safely to minimise diseases risk. It is collected and sent to one of the following as soon as possible: hunt kennel, incinerator, renderer or maggot farm. Before this is done access to the fallen stock must be restricted and if it died of a notifiable disease steps must be taken to limit any further spread.

If it is sent to a meat rendering plant, it will be categorised as category two waste - not fit for human consumption. The material is sterilised and stabilised and reused in a variety of ways but it is not allowed to re-enter the food chain.

It is important for fallen stock to be treated in this way for the safety of people, livestock and the environment.

Any parts of animals which aren't eaten are disposed of by rendering and converting them into useful products for reuse.

Animal by-products that are fit for human consumption at the point of slaughter are used in a variety of a applications including edible fats, pet food, oleochemicals and fertiliser. Any animal parts that are inedible or are considered to have a disease risk are processed separately and usually end up as solid or liquid fuel.

The process of rendering creates two main products; tallow and protein. How this is used is dependent on the risk category of the animal by-product before it is rendered. When an animal dies or is slaughtered there are strict laws both from the UK government, and the European parliament and council that dictate how the animal is to be treated, disposed of and reused.

In 2009 the European parliament and council formed regulation no. 1069/2009 on 'laying down health rules as regards to animal by-products and derived products not intended for human consumption'; this determines how category one (ruminants and diseased animals) and category two (fallen stock and material not fit for human consumption) should be processed and how they can be reused. Category one can be used for fuel and biodiesel; category two has the additional usages of fertilizer biogas and fur feed.

Category three material is considered the lowest risk and is fit for human consumption at the point of slaughter. This can be used for a variety of products such as fish feed, pet food, animal feed, fur feed, bio gas, fertilizer, biodiesel, chemical, industry and edible fats. Which of these it becomes depends on if the waste is fit for human consumption, and what animal it comes from as it can't be fed to animals of the same species. This is to minimise risks from transferable spongiform encepalopathies like BSE.

PAP and MBM are produced from different categories of animal by-product and as a result have very different uses.  PAP is a biosecure feed ingredient with a high protein value and low carbon footprint.  MBM cannot be used as a feed ingredient but is valued as a source of green energy and a raw material in a variety of industrial applications.

While PAP and MBM are both derived by means of the rendering process, the regulations governing the production of PAP ensures it is never produced in the same processing facility as meat and bone meal.

Meat rendering plants process millions of tonnes of food waste each year in the EU. It is essential that the waste from the meat and dairy sector be processed in this way to minimise the risk to people and the environment.

The process of meat rendering is very energy efficient as many of the production sites use carbon neutral resources. The materials that are being processed also provide the fuel for the meat rendering plants. The products that are then produced from the waste of the meat and dairy industry can be used in place of products that would have been produced by other means.

Category one, two and material all go to be reused as another product for consumption. Category one produces biodiesel which can be used in place of other sources of biofuels that require huge inputs of raw plant material. Category one material will also go to generate electricity for domestic and industrial consumption utilising a by-product in a more sustainable way.

Category two material goes to provide fertiliser for farms reusing some of the nutrition extracted from the soil when the meat was being produced. Category two material can also go to produce fur feed minimising the pressure on the environment to provide more food for fish farms and domestic animals.

The third category can re-enter the food chain as edible fats oils and spreads. The use of these materials minimises the strain on the environment through the demand for vegetable and palm oil. To produce these oils, large areas of rainforest are destroyed including the habitats of wild animals. using rendered fats as an alternative produces just 10% of the greenhouse gas emissions and also helps to protects the natural habitat of wild animals.

The meat rendering industry limits the impact of livestock production on the environment. It is an essential part of developing a circular economy and provides viable alternatives to many products with less CO2 emissions.


Produced in Europe, PAPs are made from animal by-products (ABP) derived from healthy slaughtered animals fit for human consumption or food processing. Sourcing and quality is veterinary controlled. It is therefore safe and it's sustainable because it prevents valuable by-products going to waste.

PAPs have a multitude of applications. Thanks to the excellent nutritional value of the protein. PAPs are used in aquafeed and pet food. Pets and carnivorous or omnivorous fish such as salmon or shrimps require a diet with rich protein sources to thrive.

Yes, PAPs are made from Category 3 animal by-products that originate from healthy animals. All Category 3 material is classed as fit for human consumption at the point of slaughter. Sourcing and processing PAPs is always under veterinary control to ensure safety all the way along the supply chain.

Yes, for many animals it is. Animals that are carnivorous or omnivorous benefit from a rich source of protein in their diets. This helps them to develop, grow and be healthy.


Regulation is made by the EU. Regulations 1069/2009 and 142/2011 set out health rules concerning animal by-products not intended for human consumption. Regulation 999/2001 sets rules for the prevention, control and eradication of certain transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. You can read a summary of the legislation here.

Legislation effective from September 2021 permits PAPs from pigs to be used in poultry feed and PAPs from poultry to be used in pig feed.

The ban on using animal proteins in livestock diets was introduced to prevent transmission of diseases known as TSEs which affect ruminants. Restrictions for non-ruminant like pigs and poultry were an added precaution, not because of a known TSE risk.

The European Commission and Member States have always stated that measures for the eradication of BSE must be regularly evaluated and adapted due to risk and new control tools. European Animal By-products Regulation state that PAPs must be safely sourced and produced. The industry has installed a range of innovations and quality control systems to guarantee product quality and safety. A positive side effect is that the revised regulations can contribute to a circular economy and the EU Green Deal.

PAPs have three key benefits:


Using PAP's helps to build a circular economy in Europe and contributes to the Green Deal. Safe animal by-products will not go to waste. European feed producers and farmers are less dependent on alternatives such as imported soy.


PAPs are safely sourced and processed from safe category 3 animal by-products. Modern tracking, tracing and quality control systems (HACCP) ensure safety at every stage. On top of this, sourcing, transporting and processing PAPs are under full veterinary control.


The nutritional rich ingredients contribute to the development, growth and health of livestock and thus are contributing to animal welfare.

The rules prohibiting PAPs in ruminant diets and intra-species consumption will not change. Rules may only change to allow additional types of PAPs to be used in pig, poultry and aquafeed as and when this is proven to be safe.


In the meat supply chain various types of quality control, tracking and tracing systems are in place. These are audited by independent authorities. National Competent Authorities regularly inspect production facilities.

As an industry, we recognize that trust in our products is essential.  Without trust our industry cannot exist in the long run. Consumers need to know their food and the feed for animals are safe. We are guided by a scientific approach to production and safety using technology and testing to ensure our products meet the high standard required.

Developing higher value markets for PAPs reflects a wider move to a more sustainable, circular economy as well as being a business opportunity. Using all the parts and pieces of an animal without wasting valuable materials is inherently more sustainable. Using these materials as high value feed contributes to building a circular economy which is beneficial for everyone.

Rendering is a commercial industry which provides a valuable service to the livestock and meat producers. It reprocesses a range of by-products and waste products into something useful including animal feed, fuels and fertilisers. The rendering industry continues to invest in facilities and people to ensure it is safe, sustainable and fully part of the 21st century circular economy.


PAPs are excellent feed ingredients. They comprise a small number of the nearly 2000 ingredients available to use in compound feed. Retailers decide on the specification of their meat products including feed and welfare standards to reflect the demands and expectations of their customers.

PAPs are one of many feed ingredients. Using it in animal production will not make any appreciable difference in consumer meat prices one way or the other.

Reusing PAPs means that the whole animal is used not just the parts we like to eat as meat.  Using PAPs in feed helps create a circular economy which reduces environmental damage from greenhouse gas emissions and land-use change for extra grown protein alternatives like for example soy.

Poultry feed may contain 5-10% PAPs derived from pigs, which is digested by the bird and used for its own growth and development. Poultry producers have full control over which ingredients are used in feed to meet the needs of their customers. Halal certification schemes ensure meat is reared and slaughtered according to Islamic principles.

Poultry feed may contain 5-10% PAPs derived from pigs, which is digested by the bird and used for its own growth and development. Poultry producers have full control over which ingredients are used in feed to meet the needs of their customers.


Poultry PAPs and porcine PAPs were already available for pet food and aquafeed, they now have a wider approval and can be used in specific livestock diets: poultry PAPs in pig diets, and porcine PAPs in poultry diets.

PAPs volumes depend on animal slaughter volumes and raw material availability. So higher volumes of PAPs in Europe market won't be possible unless there is a dramatic increase in slaughter rates. This isn't expected.

It is advised to use new scientific data. Before the feed ban the composition and processing was different. Based on actual scientific research, there are average numbers available. You will find this information in our white papers and in research reports. For additional specific information please contact a supplier.

EFPRA has actual standard and average numbers available. See our white papers and the research reports.  For further detailed and specific information, you can contact a supplier.

Feed grade animal proteins defined as PAPs are only made from Category 3 material, the safest type of by-products which are from healthy slaughtered animals and processed on segregated lines under strict veterinary control in line with EU legislation. Before the introduction of legislation approximately 20 years' ago, material from various sources became meat and bone meal. It did not have the same high standards for sourcing and processing as the PAPs that are now available. In Europe, meat and bone meal now only refers to material from Category 1 and 2 by-products. They do not re-enter the food chain but are reused for technical purposes, mainly fuel.

This cannot be answered by EFPRA as every company determines its own commercial policy. Please contact a supplier.

Research suggests that the optimum inclusion rate in poultry feed 5-10% porcine PAPs from pigs. This is digested by the bird and used for its own growth and development. The actual inclusion level will be determined by linear programming.

Rendered animal fat has never been prohibited for use in feed. Pork fat, poultry oil and fat of mixed animal species, all produced exclusively from rendering Category 3 materials. They are a well acknowledged feed ingredient and their use is completely independent from the lift of the feed ban for proteins.


Mad Cow Disease was the most well-known transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). The disease was a problem 20-30 Years ago. It was caused by the intra-species consumption of the brain and spinal column, classified as specified risk material, which is consequently removed and does not re-enter the food chain. The contemporary animal protein industry has a wide range of measures and quality systems in place. They produce safe ingredients for compound feed.

The rendering industry takes a range of measures to do this:

  1. PAPs are made from safe Category 3 animal by-products originating from healthy slaughtered animals. There is veterinary oversight of the entire reprocessing chain.
  2. Producers use segregated processing lines to avoid cross contamination (intra-species contact and material of different risk categories). All processing methods guarantee safe products at the highest level.
  3. PAPs are only approved for omnivorous and carnivorous animals. PAPs are not used to feed ruminants such as sheep and cows
  4. PAPs are safe. Production processes are carried out under strict supervision of quality management systems and controls. Audits are executed on a regular basis.
  5. PAP producers follow Europe's stringent legislation which ensures livestock and consumers have healthy feed and food. National competent authorities regularly inspect facilities producing PAPs.

PAPs are only made from Category 3 material, the safest type of by-products which are from healthy slaughtered animals and processed on segregated lines under strict veterinary control in line with EU legislation.

Before the introduction of legislation approximately 20 years' ago, there were no categories for animal by-products. Material from various sources became meat and bone meal. It did not have the same high standards for sourcing and processing as the PAPs that are now available.

The term meat and bone meal is still used in the animal by-products industry. In Europe, meat and bone meal only refers to material from Category 1 and 2 by-products. They do not re-enter the food chain but are reused for technical purposes, mainly fuel.

Outside Europe, legislation is different, meat and bone meal can still refer to material from a range of sources.