Animal by-products are materials of animal origin not consumed by humans, such as animal fats and milk powder used for feeding farmed animals, hides and skins for leather production and blood used for diagnostic tools.
The new rules, which will apply as from March 4, 2011, will exempt packaged pet-food, biodiesel, tanned hides and skins and some other products from veterinary controls, since potential health risks from those products are mitigated by appropriate treatments. This should allow focusing on major health risks, while maintaining the current high level of protection of public and animal health. The administrative burden for economic operators producing medicines and diagnostics from blood fractions, enzymes and tissues from animals, will also be reduced.
The new rules allow for the import of any category of animal by-products for research and development, and will also facilitate the feeding of animal by-products to protected species. This should help the protected species reconcile their natural feeding patterns with the objective to prevent the spreading of diseases, thus strengthening biodiversity in the EU.