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High Protein Animal Feeds: Licensing

Volume 572: debated on Thursday 16 May 1996

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asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether, in order to establish what were the errors on the basis of which they originally decided that cattle could be fed high protein diets including animal offal and bone and that these diets should be processed in new ways, and why this type of feed was licensed, they will now examine the evidence and the advice that they were given; and if culpable errors are identified, whether they will claim compensation from those who recommended these changes and have benefited from them.

The inclusion of processed animal, plant or fish by-products in livestock feed provides essential sources of quality nutrients and has been practised in many developed countries, including the UK, for decades. Statutory controls on rendering of animal by-products were first introduced in Great Britain in 1981 and these were aimed at reducing the contamination of feedingstuffs by salmonella. Council Directive 90/667 introduced harmonised rendering standards across the Community with effect from 31st December 1991.In 1991 the European Commission commissioned a study to assess the rendering standards required to inactivate the BSE and scrapie agents. Based on the interim results of the study, new ruminant rendering standards were introduced by Commission Decision 94/382 (as amended by 95/29) and UK plants rendering met these by the end of 1994 as required. A Council Decision, based on further results from the study is now under discussion in Brussels.The Government do not believe that culpable errors have been made and the question of seeking compensation does not arise.