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French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety

Use of processed animal proteins in feed: ANSES considers that the conditions have not been fully satisfied

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News of 15/11/2011

16 November 2011

As part of its "roadmap" for the revision of the regulations on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), the European Commission is proposing a relaxation of the rules banning processed animal proteins (PAPs) in the feed of certain productive livestock. With regard to this roadmap, the French Ministries of Agriculture, Health and Consumer Affairs decided to formally request ANSES to assess the health implications for France.
In 2009, the Agency had already placed several conditions on a possible relaxation of the European regulations on PAPs, mainly concerning the segregation of the industries to prevent cross-contamination and the development of a reliable test for detecting the species of origin in the processed animal proteins. In an opinion and a report published today, ANSES notes the progress made in organisation of the industries. It nevertheless considers that the conditions for safe use of processed animal proteins have not, to date, been fully satisfied.

Processed animal proteins (PAPs) are protein raw materials produced from the by-products of animals intended for human consumption (category 3(1) by-products). They are different to what, in the 1990s and 2000s, was called "meat and bone meal", which covered much more broadly animal by-products from categories 1 (intended exclusively for incineration), 2 (used as fertiliser and for other exclusively non-food purposes) and 3.
As part of its new expert appraisal, the Agency set out to update all the available data on the health risks associated with the introduction of processed animal proteins in the feed of certain productive livestock (poultry PAPs for pig feed and pig PAPs for poultry feed; pig and poultry PAPs for fish feed), including an assessment of the risk of cross contamination between animal species.
To do so, it examined the available scientific literature and interviewed various stakeholders in the animal feed and livestock rearing sectors. It also asked the General Council of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (CGAAER) to conduct a survey of the industries manufacturing and using PAPs and other animal by-products in France.

Based on this information, ANSES examined:

  • the zootechnical and health consequences of the ban on meat and bone meal in animal feed;
  • the barriers to inter-species transmission (species barriers), which limit the transmission of agents of TSEs;
  • the organisation of the industries, enabling it to assess the cross-contamination risk;
  • the methods for detection and identification of PAPs in compound feeds.

It appears from this work that, although the French PAP production industries have evolved toward greater specialisation by animal species, this remains incomplete. In addition, the analytical methods for testing the species of origin in PAPs are not yet fully available.
ANSES therefore reaffirms the conclusions of its Opinion from 2009(2) and considers that the conditions enabling the safe use of PAPs have not, to date, been fully satisfied.

Pour en savoir plus

(1) Category 3 by-products are defined by Art.10 of Regulation (EC) no. 1069/2009. They are co-products of slaughter from animals fit for human consumption but not used e.g. blood, skin, hair, nails and teeth, tendons, etc.
(2) Opinion of 31 March 2009 regarding the revision of conditions for use of meat and bone meal in animal feed