The Commission Regulation (EU) 2021/1372 of August 17th, 2021 ("Regulation") authorizes, among others, the use of processed animal proteins derived from insects (insect PAPs) in poultry and pig feed, amending Annex IV to Regulation (EC) No 999/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the prohibition to feed non-ruminant farmed animals (other than fur animals) with protein derived from animals, in order to prevent, control, and eradicate certain transmissible spongiform encephalopathies ("TSE").
The action of the Commission regarding said feed ban is still framed by the 2010 "TSE Road Map 2" and the European Parliament resolution of July 6th, 2011. Within this context, as early as 2012, the European Union Reference Laboratory for Animal Proteins in feeding stuffs (EURL- AP) has validated a new diagnostic DNA-based method (PCR), able to detect ruminant material that may be present in feed, that has permitted the re-authorization of the use in the feed of aquaculture animals of pig and poultry PAP in 2013 (Commission Regulation (EU) 56/2013), and of insect PAPs in 2017 (Commission Regulation (EU) 2017/893).
Further EURL-AP laboratory investigations lead over the years to acknowledge that no TSE have been identified as occurring in non-ruminant farmed animals under natural conditions and that the transmission risk of BSE from non-ruminants to non-ruminants is negligible as long as intra-species recycling is avoided.
The Regulation, which amends the EU legal framework to align the TSE's prevention, control, and eradication measures with the evolution of the BSE epidemiological situation, has been seen by the feed industry as an instrumental step in upscaling the European insect sector, that will contribute to accelerate progress on the 'Farm to Fork' objectives, as it will play a role in fostering circularity in food production, while improving the sustainability and self-sufficiency of the European livestock sector.
From a broader perspective, the re-authorization of processed animal proteins from non-ruminant origin in the feed of non-ruminant animals is expected to reduce the EU dependence on third countries for its protein supply as the 2018 Commission Report to the Council and the European Parliament on the development of plant proteins in the European Union called for.