Food Law News - EU - 2009

Council Press Release (12921/09), 7 September 2009

HYGIENE - Council adopts new rules for animal by-products

The Council today [see Note 1 below] adopted a regulation modernising the EU rules for so-called animal by-products [see Note 2 below], following a first-reading agreement with the European Parliament.

The new regulation is aimed at introducing more risk-proportionate rules and at clarifying the rules on animal by-products, as well as their interaction with other EU legislation.

More specifically, it includes the following provisions:

The basic principles of the current regulation on animal by-products, 1774/2002, however, remain unchanged. These include:

The new regulation enters into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU and becomes applicable 15 months after its entry into force.

The technical details for the new regulation will be laid down in a separate legal act, to be adopted by comitology procedure. This implementing regulation will be prepared in the next year, so that it can enter into application simultaneously with the new basic regulation.


1 : The decision was taken, without debate, at a meeting of the Agriculture Council in Brussels.

2 : Animal by-products are products of animal origin which are not intended for human consumption. They arise mainly during the slaughter of animals for human consumption, during the production of products of animal origin such as dairy products, and in the course of the disposal of dead animals. Past crisis related to outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease or the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) have shown that the improper use of certain animal by-products pose a risk to public and animal health, the safety of the food and feed chain and consumer confidence. More than 15 million tonnes of animal by-products are produced in the EU every year.

3 : The current classification scheme is maintained. This means that animal by-products of category 1 (injurious to health) and category 2 (unfit for human consumption) must not be placed on the market as food, whereas material of category 3 (which comply with certain rules regarding their possible use for human consumption) may be used for certain feeding purposes.

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