MBMban likely to stay

20 July 2001

MBMban likely to stay

MEAT and bonemeal is likely to be banned from all livestock rations throughout Europe for at least the next two years, Brussels has suggested.

A six-month ban was introduced at the start of this year, following further outbreaks of BSE in continental Europe, and this was recently extended for an unspecified period.

But speaking to journalists in Brussels, commission spokeswoman, Beate Gminder said she was "convinced that nothing would change the current situation in the next two years".

The commission was reluctant to see a permanent ban on MBM for pig and poultry rations, however, "produced correctly, it is a valuable source of protein," she said. &#42

There was already evidence of young poultry suffering welfare problems because they were not getting animal protein in their diets.

There was also a huge cost implication of making the MBM ban permanent, arising from the disposal of some 16m t of animal by-products a year, (estimated at k3bn). And it was only a matter of time before scare stories emerged surrounding the huge stockpiles of MBM building up in warehouses.

Re-introducing MBM would not be easy to communicate to consumers, she admitted. But, good progress had already been made in developing species-specific feed production, especially in the Netherlands, to eliminate cross contamination.

New animal by-products rules, to be passed during the next two years, also specified that anything used in feed must have come from animals fit for human consumption and there should be no "animal cannibalism".

See more