PAPs – Questions and Answers

The reapproval of Processed Animal Proteins (PAPS) in livestock diets is currently under consideration by the EU. These questions and answers are to help all interested parties to understand more about PAPs.

What are PAPs?

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.

Where are PAPs used?

PAPs have a multitude of applications. Thanks to the excellent nutritional value of the protein. PAPs can be used in aquafeed, animal feed and pet food. Pet, carnivorous or omnivorous fish such as salmon or shrimps, and omnivorous animals require a diet with rich protein sources to thrive.

Are PAPs safe for animals to eat?

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.

Is it natural for animals to eat PAPs?

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.

What rules are there on using PAPs?

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.

What are the recent changes to the rules on using PAPs?

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.

Why are there different standards for ruminants and non-ruminants?

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.

Why has European Commission decided to change the regulations on PAPs now?

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.

We have managed without PAPs for 20 years why change now?


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.

Changes in regulation are a ‘slippery slope’, how do we know that intra-species consumption won’t be allowed next and then feeding to cows and sheep?

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.

How can we trust that PAPs producers, feed producers and farmers are following the rules?

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.

Why should we trust you?

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.

Is the change in regulation simply about earning more money for PAP producers?

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.

Is the whole rendering industry not only about gaining money?

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.

How will I know if meat in the shop has been fed PAPs?

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.

Will it affect the price of meat in the shops?

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.

Are PAPs environmentally friendly?

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.

Does the use of PAPs comply to Halal standards?

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.

How do I know that I am not eating pork, when consuming chicken?

Poultry feed could 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.

Wasn’t Mad Cow Disease (BSE) caused by cows eating feed containing other animals?

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.

How do you prevent BSE happening again?

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.

Are PAPs just a new name for meat and bone meal (MBM)?

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.


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