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The Warsaw Voice » Business » September 30, 2011
Business & Economy
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Ban on Feed From Animal Waste to Be Lifted?
September 30, 2011   
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The European Commission is working to lift a ban on feeding livestock, including pigs, poultry and cattle, with meal that includes animal bones. Experts say once the ban is lifted, the price of meat products in Poland may fall by around 10 percent.

Brussels imposed the ban on the use of feed containing meat-and-bone meal— produced from waste from slaughter animals—in European Union countries in 2003. The chief argument for the decision was the risk of the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease.

The strongest opposition to the use of meat-and-bone meal in animal feed came from producers of modified soy. Modified soy is now commonly added to animal feed and the value of this market in Europe exceeds 10 billion euros annually.

Just as other materials of animal origin, animal meal is divided into three categories depending on the type of slaughterhouse waste used to produce it. Grade one and two meal has to be burned. In Poland and the EU, grade three meal, made of animal bone, may only be used for the production of dry pet food, or as an addition to fish meal. But outside Europe, in such countries as China, Vietnam and Thailand, animal meal is widely used to feed livestock and fish. These countries import much of this meal from the EU. Paradoxically, while banning the use of meat-and-bone meal in EU countries, Community lawmakers did not ban the import of meat from animals fed on such products.

Jerzy Byczyński, a Polish expert on animal waste rendering, says if the ban on using meat-and-bone meal as a component of feed for farm animals is lifted—and farmers are again given the opportunity to use animal meal instead of expensive soy meal to feed their livestock—the price of foodstuffs such as ham and sausages could go down in Poland.

One metric ton of soy meal costs zl.1,500 compared with zl.400 per ton of animal meal.
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