Brussels is planning to introduce stricter rules for animal feed manufacturers as it responds to the recent dioxin contamination in Germany, which lead to thousands of poultry and pig farm closures.
The draft measures announced by EU health commissioner John Dalli at the latest farm council meeting in Brussels, will include: An approval system for fat and feed manufacturers; monitoring and testing in fat production plants; tighter separation of fats for industrial and feed use; and regulations to mandate private labs to report traces of dioxins. A vote by member states is expected by the end of February.
It has emerged that internal testing of fat at private laboratories by the company being named responsible, Harles and Jentzsch, found high levels of dioxin in March last year, but authorities were not informed and only discovered the contamination in December.
In addition to contaminated processed eggs entering the UK via the Netherlands, Danish producers were also affected by contaminated feed imported from Germany. A large stockpile of cracked egg from producer Triova Aps, which tested close to the maximum limits for dioxins, is set to be destroyed. French producers were also affected, but tests revealed that levels in eggs were below the levels permissible in the EU.
At the height of the scare, almost 5000 farms were closed and, currently, about 580 farms in Germany remain shut.