1378 views 12 commentslast update:6 Aug 2012

What to do with meat and bone meal?

As the annual incidence of BSE in Britain is now regarded as being at an acceptable level, the time seems right to re-introduce the use of meat and bone meal in animal diets. That is, according to some government officials. However, the possible relaxation of the feed ban has resulted in a fierce debate, mainly in the UK and France.

As the annual incidence of BSE in Britain is now regarded as being at an acceptable level, the time seems right to re-introduce the use of meat and bone meal in animal diets. That is, according to some government officials. However, the possible relaxation of the feed ban has resulted in a fierce debate, mainly in the UK and France.

Farmers, farming leaders and scientists may be happy with this decision; also seen on the poll on this website where we asked if the EU should lift the ban on feeding animal protein to farm animals. Almost 50% of the voters chose the option: Yes, it is the best protein to feed, but cannibalism should be avoided.

However, re-introduction of meat and bone meal would probably not be tolerated by the public. Supermarkets have also stressed that they would not sell meat produced in this way.


Safety guarantee

So what is the solution? Tests commissioned by the EU’s Economic and Social Committee (EESC) showed that there is no safety risk from adding pig remains to chicken or poultry parts to pig feed. So if you make sure that animals don't eat 'themselves' (cannibalism), everything should be fine right?

Unfortunately that is easier said than done, unless a good traceability system is in place which is clearly communicated to all the parts in the food and feed chain including the consumers. "The way in which proteins are identified and the methods used to trace the meat meal in which they are found must give consumers a cast-iron guarantee that pigs are fed on meat meal obtained exclusively from the by-products of poultry, and that poultry is fed on meat meal obtained exclusively from the by-products of pigs" according to the EESC.


Need for recycling

Until know, no definite decision has been made if there will be a relaxation of the feed ban at all and the lively debate which is going on at the moment will probably harp on for a few months. At the same time, due to high raw material prices, farmers are increasingly looking for alternative feed sources, mainly by products from the food and biofuel industry. Recycling waste products is necessary to safeguard a sustainable green environment and a viable livestock industry. In my opinion, recycling animal by products (such as meat and bone meal) in a safe way is no exclusion in this process. It would benefit farmers and the economy in general.
 

12 comments

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    Kundan Khullar

    having traind meat meals, belive that the opinion of avoiding caniballism is good, but who is to prove that poultry fed to hogs and then by products from the same hog fed to poultry may cause disease to transfer forward

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    Suhendar Singh Chabbra,

    It is essential to recycle animal by products and incluid in live stock feed to meet the shortage of high cost feed material. Adoption of strict quality standards and tracability essential before inclusion in feed. In India hog waste is not much.However due to sizable poultry and large cattle strength, by products are available in large quantities and should be best used.

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    Norman Wilcox

    Properly processed meat and bone meal, feather meal and blood meal have long been considered high quality proteins.
    It seems shameful that huge quantities of this excellent feedstuff should be destroyed year after year when the world is desperately short of food.
    It is high time the politicians revisited this emotive issue.

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    Ronzer

    Maybe we should go the full hog and start feeding animals their own excrement. It seems such a shame to waste it.

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    Nelson Ruiz

    Meat and bone meal, and animal by-products in general can be transformed in valuable bio-energy sources. Therefore, there is no need to formulate such variable ingredients in poultry and swine diets. There are plenty of alternative ingredients in the vegetable kingdom plus a lot of creativity with non-antibiotic additives to utilize nutrients not easily bioavailable in their original matrixes. If additionally there is a distrust by consumers in what we feed animals, then there is no reason what soever to get back to animal by-products in animal nutrition.

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    Robert Jones

    your comment on supermarkets not excepting M&B in animal diets i would suggest that they are currently selling meats that have been imported from around the world and fed on high levels of animal proteins including M&B some of these proteins produced in very inferior rendering plants

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    pets

    Use the products in fuel, NOT FEED or pet food. Because of the BSE risk, I've gone organic for my human family and pets. Organic and natural is where the market is. People wised up after thousands and thousands of pets were poisoned in the U.S.

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    Alaska Farmer

    In this sitituation lies many cans of worms. Feeding hogs meat and bone meal is a crucial form of protein. Although there are many good protein sources from plants, young pigs are not as capable of digesting the plant type proteins to get the full protein value from these source of feeds. As the hogs beome older thier ability to derive the full value of plant protein increases and doesn't become an isssue. Chickens on the other hand do not need any form of animal proteins, they are fully capable of processing all the available protein from any plant product we feed them. As a small farmer who is trying to avoid any and all animal protein sources, we keep our hogs on the sow for a full 8 weeks, then they are weaned and placed in pasture lots of alfalfa/clover and fed a barley, corn, oats, kelp meal and vit- mineral formula. Keeping them on their mother, and the inclusion of kelp meal has really helped their ability to digest and process all their food to a higher degree. Chickens are free-ranged on a grass/clover/alfalfa fields and are also feed a corn, barley, oats, kelp meal, vit-min., calcium feed. To date, all seems to be productive without any negative hint and this will be our 8th year feeding this way.

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    blonde

    I have approached the companies that make thee products of meal and i am assured that there is no antibiotics or growth promotants or any other harmful products in this meal. I undertand that it is quite safe to feed back to pigs and chickens as it has gone through a high heat intensity to destroy any diseases that may be in the bones and waste from the abattoir. I also understand that meal can be made from the meat scraps from the butchers and this is less of a risk. So this is the product that I use I also understand that the fat is rendered down at a high temperature and then strained and added to the fat from the fish and chip shops as well as the restraunts and combined and sold to the pig farmers to incorporate in to their feed regimes.

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    Southeast Corporation

    We are interested make contract with the Manufacturers of the MBM ( 50% Meat & Bone Meal) With BSE certificates .
    Looking for your kind assistance in this regards.

    With regards.
    Southeast Corporation
    89, Motijheel C/A, Dhaka,1000,
    Bangladesh.
    Mailto:utajiamc@bttb.net.bd

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    david alkan

    interested in the reuse of blood meal as protein additive to concentrated animal feed mixes. thanks.
    dalkan@inter.net.il

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    huibert van everdingen

    Emmy,
    Ik las dit oude verhaal van je ,grappig is dat we twee jaar verder zijn en er werkelijk geen stappen worden gemaakt.
    m vr gr
    huibert van everdingen

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