Reforms have been tabled to the European Unions (EU) animal by-products regulation, clarifying the responsibility of manufacturers making non-food products with such waste to ensure their products are safe. The changes come in a planned overhaul of regulation EC/1774/2002, which has been criticised for a lack of clarity and containing loopholes, causing confusion in the animal waste handling sector.
These problems are addressed by the proposal, claimed a memorandum from the European Commission, which drafted the reforms: The proposal further simplifies the legislation, reducing the administrative burden for [EU institutions, national governments] and economic operators while preserving a high level of protection of the public and animal health.
Most importantly, the changes if approved would entrust non-food manufacturers using animal-byproducts (except animal feed and fertiliser makers) with increased responsibility for the placing on the market of safe products. However, should proper care be taken, then all categories of animal byproducts could be used by these manufacturers, easing hygiene red tape, even for disease-contaminated materials. Brussels added that detailed secondary guidelines may be introduced assuming this reformed basic regulation is approved by MEPs and ministers.
Meanwhile, the proposals also clarifies the law so that usually banned on site burial and burning of potentially harmful animal byproducts is allowed in exceptional circumstances when recovery operations in accordance with the general rules of the regulation become practically very difficult, such as during natural disasters. The reforms also allow for the introduction of light controls on the production of new animal waste products, proven to pose only limited risks.