27 October 1999
Pig-based chicken feed considered

NICK Brown, the agriculture minister, is seeking scientific advice on whether it would be safe to allow meat and bonemeal from pigs to be used as chickenfeed.

He has asked the governments expert committee on BSE, the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC), to consider lifting the ban on meat and bonemeal from porcine products in poultry feed.

He made clear it would not be used for pigfeed and would not be recycled in the same species.

Mr Browns aim is to help pig farmers who once received a good price for offal.

The use of meat and bonemeal in animal feed for all livestock and horsefeed was banned in Britain in 1996.

The European Union has banned its use for cattle and sheep feed, but continues to allow it for pigs and poultry.

Much of the pork and chicken imported to Britain comes from animals fed on meat and bonemeal.