The days of saving food scraps from the kitchen to throw to your chickens or keeping leftovers for the ‘pig bucket’ or to make pig swill are over! Although it may seem a cheap and effective way of feeding animals, as well as an environmentally friendly way of disposing of food waste, legislation (The Animal By-Products Regulation (EC) No. 1774/2002) states that catering waste MUST NOT be fed to farmed animals in Britain and Europe.
It has actually been illegal to feed catering waste to farmed animals in Britain since 2001. This initial ban was then adopted throughout the whole European Community in 2003. The term ‘Farmed Animals’ includes any animals, including pet animals, which belong to commonly farmed species, for example pigs, goats and poultry. Catering waste is defined as all waste food, cooked or raw, including cooking oils, which arise from household kitchens, restaurants, takeaways, canteens, cafes, factories and distribution warehouses, basically anywhere with food! If you are found and convicted of feeding catering waste to farmed animals the penalties can be severe. You can be fined or in some cases you could face a sentence of up to two years in prison.
The law is there to try and help prevent outbreaks of animal diseases, such as Foot and Mouth Disease and Swine Fever. Research has shown that feeding catering waste to farmed animals can be a major source of these diseases and can also help to spread these diseases.
More information can be found on this legislation on the Defra website.