Commission extends animal by-products derogation

The European Commission has extended the deadline of a derogation which allows member states to apply national rules for processing low-risk animal by-products in composting or biogas plants.

The derogation was to have ended on the 31 December 2006, but a new EU Regulation issued in February has extended it to 30 June 2008.1The derogation was introduced to give waste managers time to meet alternative processing standards. EU rules require animal by-products to be treated at 70°C for one hour, with a maximum particle size of 12mm.

The Regulation also includes validation requirements that allow member states to approve alternative processing standards provided they can meet a specified level of pathogen reduction.

But the Commission says it needs more advice from the European Food Safety Authority on whether mesophilic fermentation, a process commonly used in some countries, meets the requirements.