It is a known fact that the EU has a chronic shortage of sources of protein for animal feed. This shortage is a result of almost total dependence on imported soya from the US.
The shortage and dependence worsened when the use of meat meal was banned in the EU in 2001 following the BSE crisis.
Now that the disease is under control, meat meal (excluding ruminants) can be incorporated in pet foods and, from the beginning of the year, it will be permitted in aquaculture feed.
According to some scientific opinion (including that of the EFSA), the use of meat meal (‘non-ruminant PAPs’) in feed for pigs and poultry is now safe because chains that prevent cannibalism are guaranteed.
Can the Commission provide information on the situation as regards this matter which has, according to industry sources, been dragging on for two years, and indicate when it thinks it will be permissible to incorporate processed animal protein of nonruminant origin in feed for monogastric animals, thus taking advantage of this source of high-quality protein?
As announced in the communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council (the TSE Roadmap 2 — a strategy paper on TSEs for 2010-2015, the starting point when revising the current feed ban provisions should be risk-based but at the same time should take into account the control tools in place. Based on scientific opinions, the risk of transmission of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) from non-ruminants to non-ruminants is very unlikely provided the existing prohibition on intra-species recycling is maintained. Therefore, should a lifting of the ban on the use of processed animal proteins (PAPs) of pig origin in poultry feed and vice-versa be considered, this prohibition would have to be maintained and specific control and diagnostic methods would have to be available. In addition, considering the limitation inherent in any control method, correct channelling of PAPs from different species would have to be a crucial part of any review of the current feed ban provisions.
There is currently no diagnostic method available for the purpose of detecting the presence of porcine and poultry material in feed but the European Reference Laboratory for animal protein is actively working on their development.