The Feed Ban is being lifted: this is what you need to know

In the third quarter of 2021, the European Union will make a decision on easing the Feed Ban. The ban on the use of animal by-products in animal feed is 20 years old this year. Why is a partial repeal of this legislation now being considered?

Animal by-products such as poultry meal or pig meal have always been an important source of protein in animal feed. However, since the mad cow disease, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), there have been significant restrictions on use of animal proteins in animal feed. This is regulated, among other things, in Regulation (EC) No 999/2001, also known as the “Feed Ban”. BSE is a disease caused by prions (small proteins) and can cause brain symptoms. A correlation has been shown between BSE and Kreuzfeld-Jacob disease in humans. Processed animal proteins (PAPs) are made from the by-products left over after slaughter. Before the BSE-crisis, these by-products, containing, for example fats, bone and proteins, were dried and added in powder form to animal feed. Due to the strict rules, BSE has not occurred for about four years. Therefore, legislators have been reevaluating the Feed Ban.

Since the ban, soy (meat meal) has become one of the main protein sources in animal feed. These soy products are mainly imported from North and South America. With regard to sustainability and the circular economy, Europe wants to make a transition to a more local production of animal feed. The European Commission has therefore been arguing for years for the return of processed animal proteins in animal feed for pigs and chickens, provided that cannibalism is prevented.


If the EU accepts the proposal from the European Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety, animal proteins may be allowed again in animal feed this year. The proposal, recently discussed by the European Commission of Food Safety, Animal Health and Welfare, also states that insect meal will be allowed.

Scientists do not consider the use of non-ruminant processed animal protein in the feed of non-ruminant animals as a cause for BSE. At the same time, a number of strict conditions for the use of animal by-products have been included in the proposal.

No cannibalism nor bovine meal

Only animal proteins from pork and poultry may be used. Pork products may then only be used in animal feed for poultry and poultry meal may only be used in animal feed for pigs. This must be demonstrated by means of qualitative DNA testing. Animal proteins from cows may not be used.

Specific conditions also apply to insect protein. Until now, only the use of insect oil has been permitted in animal feeds and insect protein may already be used in fish feed. Since chickens are insectivores and pigs are omnivores, there is no objection to allowing insects as feed according to the proposal. That is why it is proposed that insect proteins also be allowed for the use in poultry and pig feed. The proposal also includes the option of allowing collagen and gelatin from cattle in the feed for non-ruminants.


The draft regulation elaborates in great detail under which conditions the processed animal proteins may be used in animal feed. In short, these are the main changes:

  1. Requirements are set for the slaughterhouses and the producers of the pig/poultry meal.
  2. Strict requirements are set for compound feed manufacturers:
    • Poultry PAPs in pig feed;
    • Pig PAPs in poultry feed;
    • Insect PAPs in pig and poultry feed;
    • Gelatine from ruminants in feed for non-ruminants.
  1. There are additional requirements for the HACCP system, the labeling of processed animal proteins and feeds, etc.

Time frame

The European Commission has requested feedback via a European internet consultation about the authorisation of proteins from insects, the use of PAPs and the authorisation of collagen and gelatin from cattle. This consultation has now been concluded\ and the results have been discussed. The European member states voted on this during the SCoPAFF meeting in April 2021 and the proposal was adopted. The proposal is expected to be approved by the European Parliament and the European Council in the third quarter of 2021, after which publication and commencement will take place.

Schouten Advies has a lot of experience in the field of animal by-products. We can help you investigate the possibilities for your company and implement the right control measures. Please feel free to contact us.

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