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Regulations for Insect Cultivation

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

Insect Cultivation: Naturland develops regulations. Symbolbild © Shutterstock/au uhoo
Insect Cultivation: Naturland develops regulations. Symbolbild © Shutterstock/au uhoo

The organic association Naturland has adopted the first-ever EU organic farming directive for insects. The insects are to be processed into feed for organic fish.

Insects are not only rich in nutrition but can also be produced environment-friendly and sustainably. Therefore, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that insects will increase in importance as food for the growing world population – both as direct food for humans and as animal feed. Naturland is aiming at the latter.

As animal feed, insect meal can be a sustainable and species-appropriate substitute for fish meal and fish oil in feed. Additionally, insect proteins would be suitable as high-protein feed for chickens and pigs. According to Naturland, there are EU-level efforts to regulate organic feed for insect-based aquaculture within the framework of the EU Organic Regulation. However, this process has come to a standstill.

Slow drying out is not allowed

The new Naturland regulation defines husbandry conditions for seven types of beetles, flies and grasshoppers in insect production. Included are prohibitions of mutilations such as wing pruning or removal of hockbones. The animals are to be fed primarily with organic plant by-products and residues from processing.

Animal welfare will be ensured by preventive measures such as species-appropriate stocking densities and optimum hygienic conditions. Naturland also regulates the killing of the animals; it must be carried out as gently and quickly as possible – by means of a temperature shock in the breeding farm. Killings methods like slow drying out of insects in the sun will not be permitted, so Naturland.

Naturland’s president Hubert Heigl commended his association, saying that the newly adopted regulations are a first step on the way to establish insects as a new, sustainable source of protein in organic agriculture.

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