Take-home messages from the WSPA Spring meeting

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This year, the WPSA (UK Branch) Spring Meeting was held as a hybrid meeting where delegates either joined online or in person in Nottingham. Take-home messages from a couple of the papers presented are summarised below.

Faba bean inclusion and broiler performance
The use of home-grown faba beans in poultry diets is gaining interest as a method of reducing reliance on imported soya bean meal, although anti-nutritional factors limit their inclusion in poultry rations, especially in starter diets. Jos Houdijk from SRUC gave a thought-provoking paper looking at potential inclusion levels of faba beans in grower and finisher rations of both Ross308 and slower growing Hubbard JA787. The conclusion of Jos’ work showed that inclusion of up to 15% faba beans in grower and finisher rations in diets for Ross308 had no negative effects on FCR and this can be increased to 20% for Hubbard JA787. It is thought slower growing breeds are better able to handle higher levels of faba beans due to the lower pressure on selection for growth. Further work is required to examine the effects on other key meat production traits such as carcass weight and breast yield. It should be noted that levels of anti-nutritional factors present in faba beans can be very variable and therefore caution should be taken when including faba beans at high levels commercially to avoid negative effects on performance.
First delivery of Processed Animal Protein (PAP) into compound feed in Europe
Carine van Vuure, representing the European Fat Processors and Renderers Association (EFPRA), confirmed that following the change in legislation on 7th September 2021 allowing the use of animal proteins in feed, the first commercial product was delivered to feed mills in the Netherlands and Germany this month. In a comprehensive presentation, Carine highlighted both the logistical and legislative challenges that have had to be overcome to reach this point. She also emphasised the message that this represents a move towards sensible use of a valuable resource and helps the European livestock industry work towards a more sustainable circular economy.

Currently the EU27 produce approximately 18.5 MT of waste animal products. This is processed into 3 MT of tallow and 4.2 MT of processed protein of which 2.96 MT would be available for use in animal feed. The challenge for the rendering industry is to ensure effective separation of pig and poultry material so that pig PAP can be fed to poultry and vice versa. Stringent processing conditions must then be carried out to ensure that the product is safe to use, but it is also important to still retain a good digestibility. Carine stressed that PAP is not the same as the meat and bone we remember, as it can only be derived from Cat 3 material which is the by product of healthy, non-ruminant stock. The production chain has to be dedicated from farm through processing and back into feed in order to meet the requirements of the new legislation.
The commercial use of this type of material will be the ultimate test and it is clear that the EU has taken the next step towards using this potentially valuable resource. The UK industry should ensure that we do not get left behind in these current challenging times, where both sustainability and security of supply are key drivers.