Category 3 Animal Fats
THE PET FOOD INDUSTRY AND A CIRCULAR ECONOMY
The pet food industry is proud of its thriving circular business model. We use many by-products from the human chain, which include Category 3 animal fats. This prevents the need for
final disposal and supports farmers. Manufacturers are skilled at adding value to these ingredients by converting them into nutritious pet food. This supports our contribution to the circular economy.
ANIMAL BY-PRODUCTS (ABPS)
Animal by-products (ABPs) are materials of animal origin that people do not consume. They do not enter the human food chain. In the UK and Europe, animal by-products are classified into three categories: Category 1, Category 2 and Category 3 depending on the source of the raw material and the intended use. The pet food industry can only use
Category 3 ABPs
Category 3 ABPs are from animals declared fit for human consumption. These are ideal pet food ingredients due to their high nutritional value and should be used in the best possible way to preserve resources. Category 1 and 2 animal fats are forbidden for animal feeding for safety reasons but are allowed for biofuel production.
THE VITAL ROLE OF CATEGORY 3 ANIMAL FATS IN PET FOOD Category 3 animal fats are essential raw materials for our pets’ diets. They provide a source of energy and palatability but above all essential fatty acids, such as omega-6 for a healthy skin and coat. They also help the absorption of fat- soluble vitamins in the body to help maintain pets’ health and wellbeing.
They are subject to strict requirements on sourcing and collecting, animal origin materials processing, and control. Category 3 animal fats cannot be easily replaced as a pet food ingredient.
THE PET FOOD INDUSTRY’S WASTE HIERARCHY
UK Pet Food firmly believes that food, such as Category 3 animal fats, which is not intended for human consumption, should be repurposed according to the food waste hierarchy, i.e., pet food (re-use animal feed) rather than energy (recovery) as indicated below. This sits well above energy use in WRAP’s material hierarchy of most-preferable options for food waste disposal.
THE UK PET FOOD INDUSTRY AND THE FUTURE
Unfortunately, there is increasing pressure on availability due to Category 3 animal fats being used in other sectors such as biofuels, which are much lower in terms of waste hierarchy. The Pet Food Industry will continue to communicate the importance of Category 3 animal fats in pet food. They are vital ingredients, which contribute to our circular business model, and they cannot easily be replaced.
FOOD FOR PETS NOT PLANES
We need a food system where the circular use of these valuable resources is safeguarded. Category 3 animal by products used to produce pet foods should be excluded from use in biofuels. This does not risk a slowdown in the decarbonisation of the transport sector as this can still be achieved using more suitable sustainable alternatives, which do not meet the standards for use in pet food.