The EU is considering plans to allow the use of meat and bone meal in poultry rations, to help producers overcome soaring feed costs.

This practice was banned more than 10 years ago on the back of the BSE crisis. Reports in the Observer and Daily Mail earlier this week suggest that scientists have been briefing MEPs ahead of an official proposal expected early next year.

Relaxing the ban would bring producers great savings, given the increasing price of feed due to higher cereal and soya prices.

Speaking to Farmers Weekly, NFU chief poultry adviser Rob Newbery highlighted that there is a need to look into it because of the soaring cost of di-calcium phosphate. “It [allowing its use] could be a big help.”

But he added: “If it meant losing customers, we can’t risk it.”

At the end of the day, it will be down to retailers. “However, retailers need to ensure their policy applies to the whole product range, as some countries already use meat and bone.”