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Brussels, 20 November 2001

Common position on animal by-products regulation agreed

Commissioner David Byrne today welcomed the adoption of the common position on the Council and EP Regulation on animal-by-products. "This legislation is a major step towards preventing feed-borne food crises such as BSE and dioxin contamination. It makes the requirements on animal feed as stringent as those on food, and sets out clear rules on the animal materials that are excluded from the feed chain. I am therefore pleased with today's adoption and the constructive attitude of both European Parliament and the Council to improve feed safety. This is a milestone in improving the safety of what we eat", said David Byrne at today's agriculture Council.

The Agriculture Council adopted the common position on the proposed regulation that prohibits the recycling of fallen stock and condemned animal material in animal feed. It prohibits "cannibalism": intra-species recycling (healthy pigs to pigs or healthy poultry to poultry) will be banned. It ensures that the parts of a slaughtered animal that are not consumed by humans, also called 'animal by-products', can only be used in feed for farmed animals if they come from animals declared fit for human consumption.

Animal by-products contaminated with BSE or scrapie, or with residues of prohibited substances (i.e. hormones used for growth promotion) or environmental contaminants (i.e. dioxins and PCB's) must be completely disposed of as waste by incineration or landfill after undergoing appropriate heat treatment. Animal by-products presenting a risk of contamination with other animal diseases (i.e. animals which have died on the farm or were killed in the context of disease control measures on the farm) or at risk of residues of veterinary drugs may only be recycled for uses other than animal feed after appropriate heat treatment.

The Regulation imposes a separation of these three types of animal by-products streams during collection, transport, storage and processing and introduces strict traceability rules.

The next step is the second reading of the EP before final adoption can take place.

The regulation when adopted will ensure that the 16 million tonnes of animal by-products produced each year in the EU which are unsuitable for human consumption are processed in a safe manner. The total ban of feeding meat and bone meal to farmed animals, a separate issue, stays in place without any date set to terminate it. Today's adopted proposal will however establish clear safety rules for the production of MBM in case it is ever re-authorised.

See also: MEMO/01/378 of today: Commission service paper on the processing, disposal and used of animal-by-products in Member States

See also: (Use of processed animal proteins in animal feed and) (Questions and answers on animal-by-products)

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