Animal By-Products (ABPs) and their derived products are subject to strict regulation within the European Union (EU) (EC 1069/2009), known as the Animal By-Products Regulation. ABPs encompass products of animal origin that are not intended for human consumption, that may represent risks to human and animal health, as well as the environment, necessitating stringent regulation.
While the utilization of ABPs for food production is strictly prohibited, there are alternative industrial applications where ABPs can be (re)used, such as in feed, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and energy production. However, these applications must adhere to the measures outlined in Regulation (EU) No 142/2011 to ensure proper implementation.
ABPs and their derived products are categorized based on the level of risk they pose, helping to identify appropriate handling procedures. The three categories are as follows:
- Category 1 material: This represents the highest level of risk and must be promptly disposed of to prevent any potential harm.
- Category 2 material: This category represents an intermediate level of risk, and the reuse of these materials is highly restricted.
- Category 3 material: This category represents the lowest level of risk.
The EcoeFISHent project exclusively deals with Category 3 materials, including aquatic animals and their parts without any signs of communicable diseases to humans and animals. This category encompasses ABPs generated from establishments or plants involved in manufacturing products for human consumption.
Transportation of ABPs
The transportation of ABPs is directly linked to their categorization, as different requirements apply to ensure their safe movement to the intended destination. Each consignment of ABPs must be accompanied by a specific document certifying its origin, destination, and quantity. Additionally, transport operators must comply with specific requirements similar to those in the food sector, such as traceability, registration or approval, and the implementation of a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plan. These measures guarantee the necessary hygienic conditions and enable intervention and/or official controls by the competent authorities.
Within the EcoeFISHent project, Consorzio Omnia (and its linked third party, Il Rastrello Cooperativa Sociale A.R.L. O.N.L.U.S.) are responsible for the transport of ABPs in Italy. Il Rastrello has obtained registration from the local healthcare authority and has been included in the national list of ABP carriers. This authorization allows them to transport ABPs according to the ABP Regulation and relevant national/regional dispositions.
To complete the registration process, the local authority required a comprehensive technical and descriptive report outlining the entire process, from the sender to the receiver, including information on shipment conditions, refrigeration, and storage. Specific equipment, such as container fridges, polystyrene boxes, and labels indicating authorization to transport ABPs, is necessary for transportation operations. Il Rastrello provided the technical specifications for all equipment used and the warehouse address where they are stored.
Moreover, Consorzio Omnia has been overseeing the logistics of sample requests monitoring a dedicated platform and creating sample labels necessary for shipment documents.
The regulation of ABPs remains an ongoing challenge as various aspects need to be considered. Each project partner involved in experimental activities has specific requirements for the collection, shipping, and processing of ABPs.