The European Commission has adopted a report describing the experience of Member States in applying the Animal By-Products (ABP) Regulation and outlining ideas for future amendments to the legislation.

The ABP regulation, applicable since 1 May 2003, was adopted in response to various food-borne crises. It lays down health rules for the handling, processing, use and disposal of animal by-products unfit for human consumption.

On the basis of information supplied by Member States and inspection reports from the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO), the ABP report finds that Member States’ compliance with the EU rules has been generally satisfactory. However, it notes that changes may need to be made to some aspects of the regulation in order to clarify its scope, make measures more proportionate to the risks, and remove unnecessary obstacles to the competitiveness of industry.

The ABP report aims to serve as a basis for a wide debate with Member States and stakeholders on a number of topics related to EU animal by-products rules, and will be used as a reflection paper on medium and long-term changes to the legislation.

European Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou briefly presented the report to the Agriculture Council this week, and the Commission will develop proposals for amendments to the ABP Regulation, to be agreed by Council and Parliament by the end of 2006/early 2007.