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Commission services paper on the processing, disposal and uses of animal by-products in Member States

European Commission - MEMO/01/378   20/11/2001

Other available languages: none

MEMO/01/378

Brussels, 20 November 2001

Commission services paper on the processing, disposal and uses of animal by-products in Member States

A. Background

    1. A number of BSE and related measures have been introduced over recent years, most of which have had the effect of extending the list of unsafe materials and/or restricting disposal methods and uses. For example, the list of specified risk material has been extended to include the entire intestine of bovines, mechanically recovered meat and the vertebral column. Also, animals that die on farm and meat and bone meal can no longer be used in feeds, which until recently were acceptable outlets for the industry.

    2. An inevitable result is that the amount of material needing destruction has increased across the EU. In order to monitor the level of the increase, the impact and disposal capacity in Member States, the Directorate General for Health and Consumer Protection sent a questionnaire to Member States on 29 March asking for details including current disposal routes, amount of animal by-products disposed of via each route and costs(1).

    3. Returns have been received from all Member States, and this paper provides a summary of the situation across the EU. Some Member States did not provide full data enabling a general assumption to be made, and the content of this paper may not be of statistical significance(2). Nevertheless, a number of factual key conclusions can be drawn as in section C below in relation to:

    • processing and disposal routes

    • trade/export of processed animal protein and rendered fat

    • collection, transport and rendering costs

    • storage capacity for rendered products and costs

    • incineration, co-incineration and small on-farm incineration

    • burial and/or landfill

    • biogas

    • composting and use of processed animal protein as fertilisers

    • disposal capacity in Member States

B. Purpose of the paper

    4. In the light of the coming Regulation on animal by-products not intended for human consumption, this paper serves mainly as a feedback providing an update on the processing, disposal and uses of animal by-products across the Community. It provides a useful picture facilitating the monitoring by the Commission of the situation particularly in relation to the storage and destruction of meat and bone meal, with a view to help Member States to avoid any possible problems that could arise from poor or illegal disposal methods, including exports due to lack of alternative outlets or storage capacity.

C. Factual key conclusions

5. Processing and disposal routes

    Nearly all Member States dispose of specified and high risk materials by rendering followed by incineration or co-incineration of the resulting meat and bone meal and/or fat. Co-incineration is mainly practised in A, D, E and F. Direct incineration of raw material is widely practised in the UK and EL. Also, FIN, D, EL, IRL, P, E, S and UK practise burial and/or landfill. Biogas is used as disposal route by S and A, but mainly in D. Composting of animal by-products is practised, and the resulting material spread on grazing and/or arable land in A, FIN, F, D, L and S.

    Other local disposal routes include feeding of certain high risk material (e.g. fallen stock) to animals such as fur animals whose flesh does not enter food/feed chains (DK, FIN, NL, UK), knacker's yards(3) (IRL, UK), hunt kennels and maggot farms (UK).

    In all Member States only low risk material is used in petfood, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, with the petfood industry constituting an important outlet for animal by-products in F and UK (but pressure-cooked high risk material is also used for petfood in D).

    Luxembourg has no processing nor disposal facilities of its own (waste is sent to Belgium).

    Over half of processed animal protein and fat produced in FIN, F and IRL and a quarter of the material produced in A, B, D, EL, I, L, P and S derive from ruminant animals.

    France produces by far more processed animal protein and fat than any other Member State (see Chart 1 in Annex 1), but data from the industry (EURA(4)) show that in 1999 the production was higher in D than F followed by I, E, DK and NL (see Annex 2).

6. Trade/export of processed animal protein and rendered fat

    Eleven Member States (except A, EL, L and S) send processed animal protein and/or fat to other Member States as trade, for incineration, co-incineration (use as fuel) or petfood.

    FIN, F, D, EL, NL and UK export processed animal protein and/or fat to third countries including Estonia, Russia and Switzerland either for incineration, use in technical products, feeds for fur animals or petfood.

7. Collection, transport and rendering costs

    Costs for the collection and transport of animal by-products intended for disposal vary across the Community, ranging from as low as 20 Euro per tonne in DK to as high as 135 Euro in E (data for NL and P cover collection, transport and rendering all together).

    F, DK and FIN have the lowest rendering costs (50, 75 and 77 Euro, respectively), with EL, E and D showing the highest costs (190, 177 and 168 Euro, respectively) (see Chart 2 in Annex 1).

    Figures from the industry (EFPRA(5)) show that, in 2000, D collected more animal by-products followed by F, I, UK and E (see Annex 3).

8. Storage capacity for rendered products and costs

 All Member States except L are storing processed animal protein and/or fat.

    UK and F had in store by far more processed animal protein (436,000 and 200,000 tonnes, respectively) and fat (215,000 and 30,000 tonnes, respectively), but significant amounts are also stored in IRL, P, NL and DK (see Chart 3 in Annex 1).

    The monthly storage cost for one tonne of processed animal protein ranges from as low as about 2 Euro in A, IRL, I and NL to as high as 11 Euro in FIN and D (see Chart 4 in Annex 1).

 F, EL, NL and P indicated a shortage of storage facilities.

9. Incineration, co-incineration and small on-farm incineration

    Direct incineration of raw material is widely practised in the UK and EL. UK has by far more incinerators (about 288 plants) and small on-farm incinerators (about 2500 plants), followed by EL (about 64 incinerators) and P (over 100 small on-farm incinerators).

    Most other Member States render the raw material and then incinerate or co-incinerate the resulting meat and bone meal and/or fat. Co-incineration is mainly practised in A, D, E and F.

    Only D (and B until 1999) receives processed animal protein from other Member States for incineration(6), and the estimate annual amount of material sent for incineration or co-incineration is relatively high in both D and B.

    Data from the industry (EFPRA) show that, in 2000, almost half of the total EU meat and bone meal destined for incineration was recorded in F (see Annex 4).

10. Burial and/or landfill

    FIN, D, EL, IRL, P, E, S and UK practise burial and/or landfill, with landfill costs ranging from 30 to 80 Euro per tonne of material.

11. Biogas

    Used as disposal route by S and A, but mainly in D, with disposal costs ranging from 9 to 83 Euro per tonne of material.

12. Composting and use of processed animal protein as fertilisers

    Composting of animal by-products is practised, and the resulting material spread on grazing and/or arable lands in A, FIN, F, D, L and S.

    Processed mammalian and non-mammalian proteins are also used as fertilisers on grazing and/or arable lands (and/or other lands including garden, amenities and leisure lands) in B, FIN, F, D, I, NL, S and UK(7).

13. Disposal capacity in Member States

    EL, IRL, L, NL, P and S indicated that there is a shortage of facilities in their countries for destroying animal by-products, and are all (except EL and L) considering building new incineration or co-incineration facilities.

    The industry (EFPRA) estimates that there is a shortage of incineration capacity for meat and bone meal in all Member States except D and A (see Annex 5).

    [Graphic in PDF & Word format]

    [Graphic in PDF & Word format]

    [Graphic in PDF & Word format]

    [Graphic in PDF & Word format]

ANNEX 2

Production of animal meal in 1999 in Member States

(Tonne)

Country

Raw material produced

MBM

Blood meal

Feather meal

Poultry mealTotal animal mealRendered fat
Austria346 00083 0004 0002 00088 00034 000
Belgium/

Luxembourg

402 000112 0002 0005 000119 00038 000
Denmark815 000196 0009 0009 000214 00097 000
Finland73 00026 00026 0009 000
France3 397 000437 00025 00028 00051 000540 000345 000
Germany2 695 000661 00022 0009 0009 000702 000310 000
Greece (estimate)30 00010 00010 0004 000
Ireland 450 000102 000102 00056 000
Italy2 200 000335 00020 00020 00059 000434 000210 000
Netherlands1 100 000180 00019 00035 00019 000253 000105 000
Portugal (estimate)100 00032 00032 000
Spain1 700 000334 00018 00047 00021 000420 000194 000
Sweden97 00037 0003 00040 00010 000
UK1 600 0005 0001 00026 00070 000102 000114 000
TOTAL EU15 074 0002 549 000124 000167 000242 0003 082 0001 525 000

Source: EURA

N.B. In certain MS part of the raw material may be completely destroyed instead of being transformed in MBM

ANNEX 3

Amount of animal by-products collected by Member State (2000)

(X 1000 tonnes)

[Graphic in PDF & Word format]

ANNEX 4

Meat and bone meal destined for incineration in Member States (2000)

(Tonnes)

[Graphic in PDF & Word format]

[Graphic in PDF & Word format]

ANNEX 5

Estimate Member States capacity to incinerate meat and bone meal

(X 1000 tonnes)

Incineration capacity

Quantity to be incineratedExcess/Shortage
Austria86860
Belgium100132-32
Denmark75194-119
Finland07-7
France350788-438
Germany1500610890
Greece
Ireland0130-130
Italy100479-379
Luxembourg
Netherlands65232-167
Portugal0100-100
Spain40417-377
Sweden035-35
UK175430-255
TOTAL24913640-1149

Source: EFPRA

(1) A separate questionnaire was sent out by the Directorate General for Agriculture at the end of August 2001, aiming to collect data on the cost and methods of financing of the treatment of animal waste. The information provided in this context is currently being evaluated.

(2) The data from Germany are based on the information from only 10 Landers, some of whom did not answer to parts of the questionnaire. So the data may not reflect a national picture.

(3) Premises where the treatment (denaturing with the solution of an approved colouring agent or sterilisation by boiling or steaming under pressure) of certain types of animal by-products intended to be marketed locally as feedingstuffs for certain animal categories is carried out in accordance with Council Decision 95/348/EC laying down the veterinary and animal health rules for such treatment applicable to the UK and IRL

(4) European Union Renderers Association

(5) European Fat Processors and Renderers Association

(6) In accordance with Commission Decision 97/735/EC concerning certain protection measures with regard to trade in certain types of mammalian animal waste

(7) UK only uses imported processed animal protein


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