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Published on June 24, 2021

Europe: allowing insect protein in chicken feed

Insects are emerging as a more sustainable source of protein thanks to their lower environmental impact and high nutritional value. The European Union is set to allow insect-derived protein to be fed to poultry and pigs, in what could be a significant boost for the nascent industry. Allowing processed animal protein feed (including insect protein) for pigs and poultry will address non-EU competition.

The changes will also allow some processed-animal proteins to be fed to poultry and pigs, according to the Commission. The use of processed animal protein (PAP) from mammals in the feed of all farm animals was banned by the EU in 2001, as the full horrors (over 170 people diedafter contracting the human variant, Creutzfeld-Jakob disease) of BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) emerged. Processed animal protein are an important source of highly digestible proteins rich in phosphorus. Many swine and poultry farmers were looking forward to having access to again. They European commission investigated and came to the conclusion that there was no health risk from allowing PAP from pigs and insects to be fed to poultry. This change will allow EU egg and poultry producers to operate by the same standards as those exporting into the European Union.

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