Feed safety platform

European Union Reference Laboratory for animal proteins in feedingstuffs

Type of the activity: European Union Reference Laboratory
Financing: European Commission
Duration of the project:  period 2006-2011



Since 1 January 2001, the European Union has totally forbidden the use of processed animal proteins in feed for animals raised for food production.  Because of the positive trend regarding the number positive detected cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), detected thanks to the drastic measures for the reduction of risks at the community level, the European Commission has adopted on 15 July 2005, a checklist for the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE). This document presents short, middle or long term modifications which could be provided to the community measures concerning the BSE while continuing to give high priority to the food safety and the consumer’s protection. One of the objectives is to soften, under well defined conditions, some aspects of the total ban of animal proteins actually in force. In this way, European Union Reference Laboratories (EURL) were created in order to ensure a high level of quality, a uniformity of the results and to assist in the development and the validation of new analytical and tools methods in the detection of animal proteins in feedingstuffs.
On 29 April 2004, the European Parliament and the Council have adopted the directive (CE) n° 882/2004, improving the effectiveness of the official food and feed controls while redefining the obligations of the relevant authorities and in particular the general tasks of the EURLs.
On 23 May 2006, through a selection procedure based on a competition, the directive of the European Commission (CE) n° 776/2006, has nominated the Walloon Agricultural Research Centre as EURL-AP for the 2006-2011 period.

Project description

Objectives: to improve the detection of animal proteins in feedingstuffs in the European Union through :

  • the development of new analytical methods, complementary and/or alternatives methods
  • a high level of quality and a uniformity in the analytical results


Description of the tasks

The new European Union Reference Laboratory will develop the following priority axes:

  • To provide NRLs with detailed analytical methods, including reference methods for the network of Member States NRLs;
  • To coordinate application by NRLs of the methods by organizing interlaboratory studies
  • To develop new analytical methods for the detection of animal proteins in feedingstuffs (NIR and classical microscopy, polymerase chain reaction, immunology …) ;
  • To conduct training courses for the benefit of NRLs staffs from Member States and future Member States
  • To provide scientific and technical assistance to the European Commission, especially in cases where Member States contest the results of analysis ;

Project team

Dr Vincent Baeten
CRA-W – Valorisation of Agricultural Products Department
Building Henseval
Chaussée de Namur, 24
B-5030 Gembloux

Tel : +32 (0)81 62 03 74
Fax : +32 (0)81 62 03 88
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