Animal protein feed restrictions to be eased
The European Commission (EC) has proposed allowing the use of animal meal to feed fish, chickens and pigs.
This practice is currently prohibited to prevent the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), known "mad cow disease", reports FIS.
The commission approved a proposal to ease the restrictions in force because it believes that, thanks to the efforts to combat diseases of the group of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), there was a significant decrease in the number of animals affected.
"We're finally on the verge of eradicating the disease in the European Union (EU)," said EU Health Commissioner, John Dalli, adding that any change in the measures will not affect the aim of protecting citizens. From 2011, a certain "tolerance" level of processed animal proteins will be accepted in the feed used for animals other than ruminants. However, EU authorities want to maintain the ban on the use of animal protein for ruminating mammals.
Furthermore, the EC seeks to prevent 'cannibalism', that is, cattle that eats the remains of its kind. So far, only the use of fish protein is allowed, and only in some cases.
Moreover, the EC proposed to increase the age at which animals should be subjected to mandatory screening tests, as experts say that sick specimens are increasing.
It is expected that the Community initiative will be in force over the next 5 years until 2015.
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