Pig sector sees consumer and retailer views as key in debate on use of PAPs in feed in UK

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/porcorex
© GettyImages/porcorex

Related tags Processed animal proteins Insect

Producers in the UK deserve the same opportunities as their counterparts in the EU, says the NPA; it was reacting to the formal adoption this month by the EU Commission of an amendment to the EU feed bank regulation, relaxing the rules on the use of PAPs in monogastric feed.

Now poultry protein can be included in EU produced pig feeds and pig protein in EU produced poultry feeds, under certain strict conditions, while the change also authorizes the inclusion of insect proteins in EU poultry and pig rations.

The EU decision, based on a scientific opinion by the European Food and Safety Authority (EFSA), follows approval in April this year for the lifting of the ban by the European Parliament and Council and the Commission’s Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCOPAFF).

The Commission said the proposal came in the wake of advances in scientific knowledge, which showed that certain specific feed ban measures implemented since 2001, as a result of the BSE crisis, were no longer justified.

It remains to be seen how the UK government will respond, said the UK's National Pig Association (NPA).

NPA senior policy adviser, Rebecca Veale, said: “PAP and insects are obviously not permitted in pig and poultry feed in the UK, but we know the UK government is looking at the science specific to the UK and are planning a number of risk assessments.

“From our perspective, we need to better understand consumer views, and retailers are a big part of this, while there are also logistical obstacles, given that feed production sites are predominantly cross sector in this country and PAP is not permitted as part of Red Tractor [UK quality mark] currently.

“We support the government doing this work because producers in this country deserve the same opportunities as producers in the EU.”

‘The safety aspect is not open to question’

Head of feed at UK trade representatives, the AIC, James McCulloch, was recently interviewed by BBC Farming Today program on exactly that, the EU's move to permit feeding PAPs to monogastrics. 

He said the science suggests such PAP supplement feed is entirely safe. “The safety aspect is not open to question. Our view on this is more nuanced on this. Clearly, it is, to an extent, a contentious issue. Our feeling is that we would need much wider discussion, consultation within the UK, with the regulators, but also with everybody in the supply chain.

“Then we would be looking at the industry in terms of its willingness to comply with the quite stringent technical and legal requirements in the legislative proposal.”

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