National Reference Laboratory for animal proteins in feeds

Due to the outbreak of the BSE crisis in 2000, the feeding of animal meal (PAP - processed animal protein) to all farm animals, with the exception of fish meal to non-ruminants, was prohibited(Regulation (EC) No. 999/2001 and Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009). In the course of feed control, compliance with this requirement is monitored by examining feed samples by light microscopy for the presence of fish and/or terrestrial animal particles.

Due to discussions of a sustainable supply for humans and animals as well as the increase of protein self-sufficiency in the EU, the following relaxations of the feed ban have come into force in the EU ( Regulation (EC) No. 56/2013, Regulation (EU) 2017/893 and Regulation (EU) 2021/1372, respectively):

  • 2013: approval of PAPs from non-ruminants for the feeding of fish.
  • 2017: approval of the following insects for feeding fish: soldier fly (Hermetia illucens), house fly (Musca domestica), flour beetle (Tenebrio molitor), grain mold beetle (Alphitobius diaperinus), house cricket (Acheta domesticus), short-winged cricket (Gryllodes sigillatus) and steppe cricket (Gryllus assimilis)
  • 2021: Approval of PAPs from poultry for feeding to swine, as well as PAPs from swine for feeding to poultry and PAPs from insects for swine and poultry.

Strict requirements apply to these products and regular sampling and analysis should be performed to avoid any risk and to be able to exclude cross-contamination with unauthorized ruminant protein and recycling within the same species. PCR methods allow the control of the proper application of the prohibition of repatriation within the same species in pigs and poultry and for a presence of ruminant DNA.

The aim of the National Reference Laboratory for Animal Proteins in Feed is to establish a project landscape "Animal Proteins" within a communication network. In addition, the development and establishment of new analytical methods for monitoring the current legal requirements, in particular the re-approval of PAPs.

The National Reference Laboratory for Animal Proteins in Feed is in charge of the Austrian agendas as well as those for Northern Ireland.

Our services

  • Cooperation with the EU reference laboratory in Gembloux (Belgium)
  • Mandatory participation in EU-RL proficiency tests
  • Support of the national competent authorities and guarantee of a smooth flow of information
  • Implementation of official validated methods for the detection of animal components in feed based on microscopic and PCR methods
  • Provision of analytical services


Dr. Andreas Adler

Last updated: 10.10.2023

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