Animal By-Products (ABPs)

Explore the definition of ABPs, the role of regulation and the importance of their proper management. Learn more about the ABPs categories and who are the actors involved in their management

What are Animal By-Products?

Animal By-Products (ABPs) are derived from non-edible parts of animals from traditional production chains, such as skin, bones, and offal, as well as food waste such as milk and eggs no longer fit for consumption.

Not just “Waste“, these materials find valuable uses as fertilisers, animal feed, biofuels and cosmetics due to their high fat content.

The transformation of fats and oils into renewable energies highlights their contribution to the Circular Economy.

With several million tonnes generated annually in Europe, careful handling of ABPs is imperative to prevent health and environmental risks, underlining the importance of their safe handling for public health and environmental protection.

Let’s explore Animal By-Products in our dedicater guide.

Animal and Vegetable By-Products comparison

The main difference between animal by-products and plant by-products is explained in the graphic

The treatment of various By-Products can significantly differ based on their composition and origin.

Unlike Animal By-Products, which require specific handling to prevent health risks, Vegetable By-Products originate from vegetable raw materials and typically consist of waste from agricultural, food, and industrial production, such as leaves, stems, husks, and processing residues

It’s important to note that waste from food production, such as packaged snacks, is classified as an Animal By-Product (ABP) if it contains, even in trace amounts, animal-derived ingredients, regardless of concentration levels. This includes components like lard in piadinas or butter in cookies.

This classification plays a vital role in causing producers to question the true nature of these residues, which are typically destined for biogas facilities as ordinary Vegetable By-Products. It encourages them to pursue more suitable management strategies under the direction of a team of experts.

A clear understanding of the differences between these two types of By-Products is essential for their proper management and enhancement within the framework of the Circular Economy. This ensures that both categories are utilized sustainably and responsibly.

Pulsante: valorizza ora i tuoi scarti aziendali Pulsante: Valorizza ora i tuoi scarti aziendali

Do you want to valorise your company waste and production residues?

With Sfridoo® you reap the residual value of your waste, reaping economic, fiscal and environmental benefits, thanks to the principles of the Circular Economy and collaboration with other companies in the network.


Animal By-Products regulation

The management of Animal By-products (ABP) in the EU adheres to strict regulations to ensure both safety and environmental protection.

The legislation dividess Animal By-Products (ABPs) into three categories, depending on their risk to health and the environment, and prescribes specific treatments for each category.

Europe main regulations (EC No. 1069/2009, EU No. 142/2011 and EU Delegated Regulation No. 2023/1605) aim to ensure safe ABPs management, emphasising traceability and risk-based preventive measures.

Additionally, the regulations set an “end point” for certain processed products, beyond which they are no longer classified as ABPs, thereby easing their movement.

In particular, Regulation (EU) 2023/1605 promotes green innovation and extends the available organic fertiliser options, marking an important step forward for sustainable ABPs management.

Here is a more concise and clear bulleted list of the aspects that are regulated by the legislation:

  • Regulatory requirements: specific technical standards for the management of Animal By-Products (ABPs).
  • Risk approach: implementation of measures proportionate to the level of risk.
  • Official controls: regular checks in laboratories and biogas plants handling ABPs.
  • Traceability: monitoring of ABPs from production to distribution.
  • Transport and use management: balanced solutions for the transport, processing, use and import of ABPs.

Regulation (EC) 1069/2009

Adopted on October 21, 2009, this regulation supersedes previous legislation and creates a stringent framework for the management of Animal By-Products (ABPs), establishing high standards for health safety.

It applies to all Animal By-Products not intended for human consumption, establishing detailed criteria for their collection, transport, use and disposal.

This legislation specifically excludes certain materials and situations, such as wild animal parts not suspected of disease, oocytes and sperm for reproductive purposes, and certain catering waste, with the emphasis on preventing public and animal health risks from their misuse.

Regulation (EC) 142/2011

This regulation, which implements Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009, specifies the operational measures and conditions necessary for the safe management of Animal By-products (ABPs).

It introduces the concept of the “end point”, indicating the point in the manufacturing process after which products containing derivatives of animal origin are no longer to be considered ABPs and can be placed on the market without further restrictions.

It also specifies conditions for products such as biodiesel, pet food, and chewing items, ensuring that they meet established safety standards to avoid health and environmental risks.

Delegated Regulation (EU) 2023/1605

Delegated Regulation (EU) 2023/1605 has introduced innovative definitions and conditions for the use of organic fertilizers and soil enhancers produced in the EU.

It defines the “end point” for these products, beyond which they are no longer considered subject to Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009, promoting the safe use of organic fertilizers in EU agriculture.

In particular, it includes provisions for ash, biogas residues, compost, processed manure and processed frass, establishing specific criteria for their safe production and use.

Pulsante: valorizza ora i tuoi scarti aziendali Pulsante: Valorizza ora i tuoi scarti aziendali

Do you want to valorise your company waste and production residues?

With Sfridoo® you reap the residual value of your waste, reaping economic, fiscal and environmental benefits, thanks to the principles of the Circular Economy and collaboration with other companies in the network.


Supervisory and food safety authority

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) plays a crucial role in the management of Animal By-Products (ABPs) on behalf of the European Commission.

Its main activity is to assess the risks associated with ABPs, providing key scientific bases for EU regulatory decisions.

In 2021, a notable instance of the impact of EFSA’s evaluations occurred when the prohibition on the use of Animal By-Products (ABPs) in animal feed was partially repealed, following its recommendations.

This decision permitted the use of processed animal proteins (PAPs) by pork for poultry and vice versa, following years of prohibition aimed at preventing the transmission of diseases such as BSE.

EFSA also plays a decisive role in the approval of new processing methods for ABPs.

Prior to their approval, a favorable opinion from EFSA and national authorities must be obtained.

This process has enabled the approval of innovative methods for biodiesel, compost, feed and fertilizer production, expanding the possibilities for the sustainable use of ABPs.

Animal By-Products cotegories

The graphic explains the main categories of animal by-products (ABPs) which are catergory 1, category 2, category 3

Animal By-Products (ABPs) are classified into three main categories based on potential health risk.

European regulations define specific protocols for their collection, transport, and disposal, ensuring safety and environmental compliance.

Category 1 ABPs: high risk materials

Category 1 encompasses the riskiest materials, including parts of animals with serious diseases such as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and kitchen waste from international means of transportation.

The anagement of these materials follows strict protocols to prevent the spread of disease.

Category 1 ABPs management

The handling of these materials follows a strict protocol. They can only be stored and handled in Category 1-specific transit facilities.

Here are the main elimination methods:

  • Direct incineration in approved plants.
  • Processing in approved facilities with specific methods, followed by incineration or co-incineration of the resulting materials.
  • In the case of materials from animals with or suspected of TSE, specific processing followed by disposal in approved landfills.
  • Catering and kitchen wastes are disposed of by burial in landfills.

Category 2 ABPs: intermediate risk materials

Category 2 materials include, for example, manure, digestive tract contents, and products with drug residues over the limits. These materials are not suitable for human consumption but pose a lower health risk than Category 1.

Category 2 ABPs management

Except for manure, they must be processed only in transit facilities approved for Category 2.

After collection, transport, and identification, these materials can be subjected to various treatments.

Here are the disposal methods:

  • Direct incineration in approved plants.
  • Processing according to specific methods in approved plants, followed by disposal of the resulting materials as waste.
  • Silage or composting, in the case of materials of fish origin.
  • In the case of manure, digestive tract contents, milk and colostrum without risk of transmissible diseases, they can be transformed into biogas, composted, technically treated or used on land.
  • Use in technical facilities for the production of hunting trophies.

Category 3 ABPs: low risk materials

Materials considered low-risk are considered as Category 3, such as slaughtered animal parts suitable for human consumption but not used for commercial reasons, and other non-hazardous by-products, such as many residues from the baking and confectionery industry.

Category 3 ABPs management

These materials are handled according to strict standards.

They must be processed in Category 3-specific transit facilities and, once collected, transported and identified, can be:

  • Direct incineration in approved plants.
  • Use as raw materials in pet food production plants.
  • Processing into biogas or composting in approved plants.

ABP category 3 plays a significant role in the overall management of ABPs.

The responsible and safe use of these materials is important for both public health and environmental protection.

Pulsante: valorizza ora i tuoi scarti aziendali Pulsante: Valorizza ora i tuoi scarti aziendali

Do you want to valorise your company waste and production residues?

With Sfridoo® you reap the residual value of your waste, reaping economic, fiscal and environmental benefits, thanks to the principles of the Circular Economy and collaboration with other companies in the network.


ABPs management stakeholders

Animal By-Products management requires the interaction of different stakeholders, each with specific tasks to ensure safe, responsible and compliant handling.

These actors play crucial roles in the ABPs lifecycle, from pickup to transportation to final disposal.

Let’s discover these dynamics together, which we also explored in our article on ABPs Management Stages.

Animal By-Products collection

Companies focused on the collection of Animal By-Products (ABPs) carry out the vital first step in the management process.

In order to operate legally, these companies must be registered under Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009 in order to be able to obtain specific authorizations attesting to their ability to transport, handle,process and market ABPs in compliance with current regulations.

Some stakeholders, so-called ABPs traders, are only allowed to transport and market animal by-products.

Other actors, however, processors or end-use facilities of ABPs, are specifically authorized to handle and use these materials.

Animal By-Products transport

ABPs transport to treatment or disposal facilities must be carried out under strict criteria to prevent contamination or risks to public health and the environment.

Transport operators must be registered under Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009 confirming their compliance with applicable regulations.

Possession of registration under Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009 ensures that transportation is carried out with appropriate vehicles and that operators follow stringent health and environmental protocols.

Animal By-Products disposal

The last stage of ABPs management involves specialized treatment facilities licensed to dispose of or process ABPs into new products or renewable energy.

These facilities must adhere to high standards of safety and sustainability, reducing environmental impact and ensuring that ABPs are handled ethically and responsibly and in accordance with current regulations

The importance of circular ABPs management.

The graphic explains the main categories of animal by-products (ABPs) which are catergory 1, category 2, category 3

Circular management of Animal By-Products (ABPs) embodies a key pillar in the advancement toward a more sustainable and responsible economy.

This practice offers innovative solutions to reduce waste, enhance natural resources, and sustain biodiversity while acting responsibly toward the environment and society.

Let’s examine the key benefits, which we have explored in depth in this article devoted to the benefits of using ABPs:

  • Waste reduction: repurposing SOAs into new products minimizes waste and improves the use of natural resources.
  • Sustainable fertilizers: fertilizers that naturally increase soil fertility are derived from SOAs.
  • High-nutrient feeds: the use of SOAs in feeds provides a sustainable alternative for animal nutrition.
  • Renewable biofuels: turning animal fats and oils into biodiesel reduces our dependence on fossil fuels.
  • Protecting health and biodiversity: proper management of SOAs prevents health risks and protects biodiversity.
  • Promotion of innovation: innovative use of SOAs stimulates technological development, supporting renewable energy and sustainable agriculture.

In summary, the circular management of ABPs proves essential to building a sustainable and responsible future.

By encouraging the adoption of this approach, we can contribute significantly to the advancement of the Circular Economy and the protection of the environment, emphasizing our active role in promoting change toward more sustainable practices.