Animal by-product legislation

Regulations 1069/2009 and 142/2011 set out health rules concerning animal by-products not intended for human consumption. They entered into force on 4 March 2011.

Both Regulations, along with the TSE Regulation adopted in 2000, the basis of the Commission's strategy to combat and eradicate feed-borne crises such as BSE, foot and mouth disease and swine fever. Under both Regulations, only materials from animals declared fit for human consumption following veterinary inspection may be used for the production of feeds.

They also ban intra-species recycling of proteins i.e. feeding a species with protein derived from the same species. They set out clear rules on what must and may be done with the excluded animal materials. Imposing strict identification and traceability system requiring certain products such as meat and bone meal and fats destined for destruction to be permanently marked to avoid possible fraud and risk of diversion of unauthorised products into food and feed.

The Regulations introduce new disposal methods such as biogas, composting and co-incineration and certain approved alternative methods, based on scientific evidence. They lay down the requirements for the importation and transit from non-Member countries of certain animal by-products and derived products.

Regulation 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs and Regulation 853/2004 on the hygiene of food of animal origin are applicable to all food and all food operators right through the food chain "from farm to fork". They include effective instruments to manage food safety and any food crises throughout the food chain. Edible animal fats are processed to edible fats like lard (pig fat) or tallow (beef fat) and to edible greaves the proteinaceous by products of the fat melting

Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) legislation

The EU has a TSE related legislation in place i.e. Regulation 999/2001 as amended laying down rules for the prevention, control and eradication of certain TSEs. Among others this Regulation contains:

The Feed Ban:

Since July 1994, there has been an EU ban on the use of Processed Animal Protein in cattle feed. A total EU suspension on the use of processed animal protein in feed for any animals farmed for the production of food has been in place since 2001. Limited amendments to the feed ban were adopted since 2005.

Surveillance: A comprehensive surveillance system has been in place since 2001. This included post-mortem testing of all risk animals aged over 24 months and the testing of all healthy slaughtered bovine animals over 30 months of age.

Specified Risk Material (SRM):

Since October 2000, SRM, which is considered to pose the greatest risk of BSE transmission, has had to be removed and destroyed to prevent it entering the food and feed chain.

Measures following detection of a positive BSE case:

Where a positive case of BSE is found in an animal slaughtered for human consumption, the carcass, and those slaughtered immediately before and after it, must be destroyed, as must all the birth and rearing cohorts of the BSE case.

White Paper - Legislation

Learn about recent changes to European animal by-products legislation.

White Paper - Legislation