Russia allows the use of biological waste in animal feed

25-01-2021 | |
Photo: Dreamstime
Photo: Dreamstime

As of January 1, 2021, the processing of some part of biological waste in animal feed is permitted in Russia.

Although permitted the actual processing is yet to begin, as some gaps in the legislation need to be completed first.

The former regulation, barring any use of biological waste by feed companies, was adopted in the 1990s, but is now very outdated, Russian Gazette, the official publication of the Russian government, said. The new regulation sub-divides waste into hazardous and moderately dangerous categories, depending on the bacteria contamination level and some other factors. Waste which falls under the moderately dangerous category is now allowed to be applied in the production of animal feed and feed additives.

So far, however, it is not clear what could be considered a biological waste, said Maxim Sinelnikov, deputy chairman of the executive committee of the Russian National Meat Association. For example, a bone separated from meat is not considered waste because it still could be used for gelatin production, Sinelnikov added. However, the new regulation withdrew some requirements for biological waste storing and treatment. For example, biological waste can be stored in closed refrigerators and transported in plastic bags, Sinelnikov said. The new rules should make storage of waste and transportation cheaper and more manageable. Besides, the new rules should contribute to preventing outbreaks of animal diseases, said Ekaterina Galaktionova, senior researcher of the Russian Higher School of Economy.

Expired products are the next step

From the ecological point of view, however, the bigger impact is expected from another regulation, which would pave the way for food products with an expired best-before date to be used in the feed industry, the Russian Gazette reported, citing local analysts.

The bill allowing the use of expired food products in animal feed production has been registered in the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian Parliament, in the summer of 2020 and is still under consideration. According to the explanatory note to the bill, not only feed companies but also zoos and pet food manufacturers may take advantage of the new bill. It is aimed to not only to help businesses but also to improve the ecological situation, by preventing large volumes of organic waste to rot under the open sky.

Globally, 1.3 billion tonnes of food are lost on the way from farm to table. In monetary terms, this makes $ 7.5 trillion per year, according to the Russian Gazette. In Russia, it is estimated that 5% of food is lost every year at the meat processing stage alone, according to the Russian scientific centre Skolkovo. Currently, expired and damaged food in Russia must be destroyed or disposed of. No industrial use is allowed.

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Vladislav Vorotnikov Eastern European correspondent