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Health and Consumer Protection

Press releases

Brussels, 19 June 2001

Common position on animal by-products regulation agreed – MBM-ban will be prolonged

Commissioner David Byrne today welcomed the political agreement 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 for what must and may be done with the animal materials that are excluded from the feed chain. I am therefore pleased with today's outcome 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, commenting on today´s outcome of the discussions.

Animal by-products

The Agriculture Council reached a political agreement on the proposed regulation that prohibits the recycling of fallen stock and condemned animal material in animal feed. It introduces the prohibition of "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. hormone 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 strict traceability rules.

MBM-ban prolonged

The Council further endorsed the proposal of the European Commission to prolong the meat-and-bone meal ban in Europe as part of a Commission proposal updating the new Regulation on the prevention, control and eradication of TSE which is to become applicable as of July 1st. Ministers agreed to the prolongation of the current suspension on the use of meat and bone meal (MBM) in animal feed for pigs and poultry. A ban on feeding MBM to ruminants is already in place in the EU since 1994. The ban of feeding MBM to pigs and poultry will be kept under review in the light of the future decision on the risk classification of the country or countries concerned and of progress in the implementation of strict and effective controls. The Council further accepted the introduction of compulsory offspring and cohort slaughter (with whole herd slaughter on a voluntary basis) in the event of the discovery of BSE cases as of 1 July 2001. Agreement was also reached on interim requirement for imports of live cattle and products of animal origin from certain third countries. Certification of an effective mammalian MBM ban to ruminants and full tracing to the herd and dam of origin will be needed for imports of live cattle from 1 October 2001, except for those countries where scientists have concluded it is most unlikely that they will ever have native BSE-cases. Additionally, BSE related restrictions would apply to a range of new products of animal origin imported into the Community, especially tallow, gelatine and petfood from 1 October 2001. It will mainly be required to remove specific risk materials (i.e spinal cord, brain) from the production of those products. The Commission will now adopt this legislation after the Council did not reject it with qualified majority nor adopted it with qualified majority.

Released on 19/06/2001

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