EU may relax pig BSE feed rule

10-06-2008 | |
EU may relax pig BSE feed rule

Europe will never lift its ban on using animal protein in cattle feed after bitter experiences fighting mad cow disease but might consider allowing cross-feed between pigs and poultry at some stage in the future, the Guardian reports.

In a recent interview, EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou, told Reuters that experts at the EU’s executive arm were compiling a report on the feasibility and risk of relaxing rules so that some animal proteins may be used in animal feed. The study’s results are due in late 2009.

Contaminated feed
The EU banned the use of meat and bone meal (MBM) in cattle feed in 1994 after scientists concluded that bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, was spread by feed contaminated by ruminant protein in the form of MBM.

Last year, EU scientists examined the BSE-related public health risks of using certain animal proteins in animal feed, particularly pig protein being fed to poultry and feed containing poultry protein being fed to pigs.

Risks negligible
They said the risks to human health would be negligible, since BSE had not yet been identified in pigs or poultry under natural conditions — making the risk of BSE being transmitted to pigs by feeding them poultry-processed proteins, or vice-versa, fairly slim at most.

Related Website
• Guardian

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