Possible relaxing of BSE feed rule
Europe might consider allowing cross-feed of animal
protein between pigs and poultry at some stage in the future. It will never lift
its ban on using animal protein in cattle feed.
Experts at the EU's executive arm are compiling a report on the feasibility
and risk of relaxing rules so that some animal proteins may be used in animal
The study's results are due in late 2009 and the Commission will
decide accordingly. Whatever the outcome will be, the EU however will never lift
the ban on feeding animal protein to ruminants.
The EU banned the use of
meat and bone meal (MBM) in cattle feed in 1994 after scientists concluded that
bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, was spread by feed
contaminated by ruminant protein in the form of MBM.
Last year, EU
scientists concluded that the BSE-related public health risks of using certain
animal proteins in animal feed, particularly pig protein being fed to poultry
and vice-versa would be negligible.
Fish meal already
The EU has already taken a first step towards relaxing its
overall BSE restrictions: in April, national EU experts agreed to lift a
seven-year ban on using fishmeal in animal feed and allow it to be used as a
milk replacement for calves and lambs.
Providing the European Parliament
agrees, that new provision would probably come into force in September. There is
no plan to extend it to adult animals.
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