European Parliamant

Lifting of the feed ban can come

The European Parliament's Environment Committee voted in favour of the feeding of animal by-products by a narrow majority of 39 to 35. The European Commission had proposed to allow the feeding of animal by-products from pigs to poultry. Likewise, animal by-products from poultry should be allowed to be fed to pigs. The Greens and the Left had submitted an objection to the Commission's proposal. Social Democrats and right-wing nationalists supported it.

Jens Gieseke (CDU), member of the Environment Committee and responsible EPP rapporteur for the dossier, is relieved about the decision. He sees shortcomings in the content of the objection. "The Greens and the Left ignore the scientific assessment of the European agency EFSA. They use wrong definitions and draw absurd conclusions."

Gieseke continues, "Yet the feeding of animal proteins is in the spirit of the Green Deal." PAP (processed animal protein), which is left over today when animals are slaughtered, is incinerated or exported to other EU countries. To meet the protein needs of pigs and poultry, soya is imported from overseas. "While the valuable animal proteins are exported, we import tons of soy. This cannot be in the spirit of a sustainable circular economy," Gieseke continued. In the course of the Commission's proposal, the feeding of insects to pigs and poultry is now also possible. "We are using innovative potential for sustainable management," said Gieseke.

The argument that allowing PAP could lead to cross-contamination or contamination in cattle feed and thus to a new outbreak of BSE is not valid. "We are only allowing the feeding of pigs to poultry and poultry to pigs here. But BSE is a purely ruminant disease," Gieseke said. "In addition, the proposal provides for strict production criteria such as separate production lines. Furthermore, there are sufficient testing possibilities today for the detection of PAP in animal feed. A zero tolerance limit applies. Contaminated feed would have to be disposed of as soon as PAP is detected in cattle feed or cross-contamination. The European Food Safety Authority EFSA also sees no risk to human or animal health if it is re-approved."

Gieseke expressed disappointment with the committee members who voted in favour of the objection. "There is no scientific basis for maintaining the ban. We keep calling for the strengthening of the circular economy and we get upset about the deforestation of the rainforest. But here, where we can concretely improve things, some block for pure ideological reasons. The Greens and the Left ignore science and stand for ideological bans. They fight sustainable concepts that create real added value."