Worldwide, animal proteins and fats are used as important and highly valued ingredients in livestock rations, balancing other nutrients supplied from grain and oilseeds. In fact, between 10 and 15 per cent of the total dietary protein and energy requirements for pig and poultry production is, and has for many decades, been supplied from rendered products. Today aquaculture is a significant growth area, where these products are increasingly used as nutrient sources.
However, in the UK the incorporation of meat and bone meal (MBM) in any farmed livestock rations was prohibited from 29 March, 1996. This followed the ban on its use in ruminant feeds in 1988 and was introduced to prevent any possibility of cattle and sheep having access to feeds containing MBM. It was not because of any perceived risk to pigs and poultry.
Following these bans, almost all UK-produced meat and bone meal is now buried or incinerated. Very small quantities of selected types of MBM are still used as ingredients in pet food. MBM produced in the rest of the world is used in animal feeds, mainly for pigs and poultry.
Some tallow, depending on its grade or quality, is used in animal feeds. But by far the majority is used to produce derivatives which are, in turn, used in industries as diverse as paint manufacture or tyre production. Some types of tallow from specific sources are used as a fuel to replace fossil fuels. The fat and animal protein derived from poultry by-products and feathers (which are processed in dedicated plants or lines) is used extensively in pet food.