Animal by-product disposal

The disposal of animal by-products is controlled by legislation which other forms of waste are not affected by.

Animal by-products are tightly regulated in the UK and the EU. There are regulations in place which cover the collection, transport, storage, handling, processing, use and disposal of animal by-products.

Animal by-products are categorised 1, 2 or 3 according to risk. There are prescribed options for handling, use or disposal.  According to legislation, there are no universal rules for the disposal of all animal by-products. Fishermen, processors and retailers must be aware of the individual regulations for the disposal of mollusc shells, crustacean processing waste, and other forms of animal by-products. Any business generating material of animal origin which is not intended for human consumption needs to be aware of how the regulation applies to their business.

The responsibility of ensuring that the requirements of the animal by-products regulations are being met is on the person who has possession of the material at any particular point in the chain. Waste disposal legislation is very important throughout the EU. All waste is subject to a Duty of Care. This means that a producer of waste is responsible for that waste up to its final use or disposal.

A list of approved animal by-product disposal locations can be found here. Seafish have also produce guidance notes on the disposal of mollusc shell waste, crustacean processing waste, and seafood waste at sea, as well as notes on duty of care and definitions of free of flesh shell. More information on by-products is also available from Defra.

And the legislation…

  • EC Regulation 1774/2002, which came into force in May 2003. The Regulation controls the collection, transport, storage, handling, processing and use or disposal of animal by-products.
  • Regulation 1774/2002 was replaced by Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009 in March 2011.