23 June 1999
MBM in feed ruled out
By Isabel Davies
THE governments advisors today ruled out the re-introduction of meat and bonemeal in animal feed.
Feeding mammalian meat and bonemeal to livestock, including pigs, is still banned in the UK.
Sir John Pattison, departing chairman of the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC), which made the decision, said there was no scientific justification for a change in current controls.
He added that it was important to be sure that animal protein was not fed back to animals.
Last week, European agriculture ministers supported a review of rules on animal feed ingredients following the Belgian dioxin-in-feed scandal.
They had already agreed to consider calls for a Europe-wide ban on meat and bonemeal in feed.
This was the second time that the practice of feeding meat and bone meal to animals had been singled out for criticism following a major European food scare.
The inclusion of meat and bonemeal, made from ground-down animal remains, was blamed for the rapid spread of BSE in Britain in the early ’90s.
Europe-wide restrictions in the wake of the BSE crisis banned the use of mammalian meat and bonemeal from animal feed for cattle, sheep and goats.
The UK unilaterally extended that ban to cover all farmed livestock, but Continental farmers can still legitimately use meat and bonemeal for pigs and poultry.