Food

Animal by-products

Animal by-products

What are animal by-products?

Animal by-products (ABPs) are materials of animal origin that people do not consume. ABPs include among others:

  • Animal feed - e.g. based on fishmeal and processed animal protein
  • Organic fertilisers and soil improvers - e.g. manure, guano, processed OF/SI on the base of processed animal protein
  • Technical products - e.g. pet food, hides and skins for leather, wool, blood for producing diagnostic tools

In the EU, over 20 million tons of ABPs emerge annually from slaughterhouses, plants producing food for human consumption, dairies and as fallen stock from farms.

ABPs can spread animal diseases (e.g. BSE) or chemical contaminants (e.g. dioxins) and can be dangerous to animal and human health if not properly disposed of. EU rules regulate their movement, processing and disposal.

ABPs are categorised according to their risk using the basic principles in Regulation (EC) 1069/2009.

Measures that apply to them depend on the ABP's category which is based on their handling:

  • Production
  • Collection
  • Transport
  • Storage
  • Use
  • Disposal

EU national authorities make official controls on ABP imports from non-EU countries.