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Animal Body Disposal Act of February 1, 1939 (German Reich)

Carcass disposal refers to the processing and disposal of carcasses and the recovery of carcasses and slaughterhouse waste in an animal carcass disposal facility . The topic stands in the area of ​​conflict of high epidemiological importance and economic interests of agriculture and the food industry . It is therefore the subject of numerous laws and regulations at national and EU level .


The starting material is the carcasses of dead , dead or stillborn large or domestic animals - or parts thereof - as well as slaughterhouse waste, spoiled food of animal origin and animal by-products such as milk, eggs or confiscates , but also intestinal contents and manure . The material is divided into three categories in the EU Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009 (Regulation on animal by-products) based on the risk involved.

Animal carcass collection point in Switzerland (Canton of Zurich)

Category 1

Category 1 contains meat and animal by-products with the highest risk, i.e. pets , wild animals or farm animals that have been killed or perished for reasons of illness, especially TSE- contaminated animal corpses as well as animals, pets and laboratory animals contaminated with chemicals or prohibited substances .

Category 1 material must be completely disposed of as waste and finally incinerated. From July 1, 2008, the material must be labeled with glycerol triheptanoate (GTH) in intra-European trade and transported in black containers.

Category 2

This category includes meat and by-products at risk of other non-communicable diseases . It includes killed and fallen, i.e. not slaughtered, animals, animal by-products (e.g. milk), imported and insufficiently controlled material, animal products with drug residues and organs that have been rejected at slaughter and that may be infectious.

Category 3

So-called K3 material primarily refers to waste and by-products from slaughterhouses, kitchen and food waste, food of animal origin that is no longer suitable for human consumption, raw milk, fresh fish or fresh fish by-products. There are also parts of animals that are suitable for human consumption, but for which there is little demand in the country concerned, for example tripe , tongue and other offal . It may only be processed into animal feed . In Germany, the feeding of fats from the tissues of warm-blooded land animals and of fish to ruminants is also prohibited. In Germany, fats from the tissues of warm-blooded land animals may not be fed to other food-producing animals and horses. K3 material is repeatedly the starting point for the food scandals surrounding so-called rotten meat .

Belong to the K3 material

  • Kitchen and food waste, unless from cross-border traffic
  • Fish or other marine animals and fish waste (excluding marine mammals)
  • Former foods of animal origin resulting from other, non-harmful consequences, e.g. B. Packaging defects, are no longer intended for human consumption
  • Carcase parts which are unfit for human consumption but which show no signs of communicable disease and which come from animals which are fit for human consumption
  • Raw milk
  • Shells, hatchery by-products, day-old chicks and cracked egg by-products from clinically normal animals
  • Hair, furs, horns, etc. from clinically normal animals
  • Animal waste from the food industry
  • Carcasses from accidents involving wildlife in traffic
  • Hides, hooves and horns, pig bristles and feathers from animals slaughtered in a slaughterhouse after an ante-mortem inspection
  • layered meat
  • inferior meat
  • Meat from animals under considerable stress
  • Blood from animals (other than ruminants) slaughtered in a slaughterhouse after an examination
  • Animal carcase parts and by-products obtained in the manufacture of products for human consumption and defatted bones and greaves

This meat, which has to be labeled immediately, may only be processed for the production of pet food in an approved pet food company or for products that are no longer edible, e.g. B. be used for lubricating greases . It can also be used for composting or biogas production . Nevertheless, so-called trade category 3 meat is occasionally used illegally for human consumption. From July 1st, 2008, the material is to be transported in green containers in intra-European trade and can be colored in national trade.

Carcass disposal procedures

In a recycling facility

The delivered raw materials - fallen animals, confiscated goods and slaughterhouse waste - are dumped into the receiving troughs of the recycling plant; the transport vehicles and containers are cleaned. Delivered animals are, if necessary after an official veterinary examination with regard to animal diseases, peeled off the fur (the blanket ; see skinner ) before processing for separate further processing. Then the raw material is crushed into pieces weighing approx. 50 g or 20 g using coarse or fine crushers . It is carried out for 20 minutes at 133 ° C and 3 bar a thermal sterilization in appropriate pressure vessels. The result is a sterilized meat pulp, which can now be further processed using different methods.

Wet process

The meat pulp is defatted. Either mechanically by suitable centrifuges or decanting centrifuges , or by settling processes. The defatted slurry is placed in suitable dryers, e.g. B. disc dryer, continuously dried and then ground.

Dry process

A distinction is made between fat separation by extraction using extraction gasoline or by mechanical pressing processes.

Gasoline extraction

The meat pulp is carefully dried and then extraction gasoline ( hexane ) is added in the extractor in a batch process . The fat- solvent mixture is drawn off and separated by distillation . The defatted meat pulp is made petrol-free using live steam, after which it is ground.

Instead of the batch process were also continuous extractors in use, in which the dried meat paste was washed out in countercurrent extraction gasoline.

However, due to the solvent residues in the flour, these processes are no longer used.

Pressing process

The sterilized meat pulp is dried to the required degree of dryness in continuously operating drying systems (drum dryer, disc dryer). The dried meat pulp is degreased using continuously operating screw presses. The pressed reeds are then ground. This procedure is common practice today.

Wet extraction

This process, which is no longer used in practice, uses tetrachloroethene (Per) as a solvent for drying and degreasing the sterilized meat pulp. In so-called extractors, the raw material was sterilized in a batch process, stirred up with the solvent / residual fat mixture from the 2nd wash of the previous batch, the resulting fatty miscella removed as the 1st wash and fed to the distillation. The pre-defatted meat pulp was then dried azeotropically to the extractor by continuously adding solvent . At the start of the drying, the azeotropic steam mixture temperature was 87 ° C, at the end it was approx. 104 ° C. The resulting steam was condensed , cooled and then separated in the solvent / water separator due to the large differences in density (water = 1, Per = 1.6). The residual fat was absorbed by the solvent as a so-called 2nd wash in the extractor during the drying process and, after drying, was removed for reuse as the 1st wash for the next batch. The defatted, dried, but still solvent-moist "meat pulp" was stripped free of moisture using direct steam. It was then ground to flour with a low residual fat content of 4%. 2% was doable with three washes. Such residual fat contents were often desired in bone processing.

However, due to the high solvent costs, the possible contamination of the groundwater and the solvent residues in the meat and bone meal , this process is no longer used.


If an animal dies in a hard-to-reach place such as B. an Alm , the transport to a recycling plant is often associated with considerable effort and costs. Sometimes this is only possible by roping the dead animal to a helicopter and then transporting it by air.

In order to minimize effort and costs, the demolition of dead cattle was practiced in Austria ; the method has also been documented for Colorado , USA . The carcass is detonated at the point of use by an attached explosive charge . The animal, which is now torn into smaller pieces, can decompose more quickly and be devoured by scavengers . The blasting of dead whales that had washed up on beaches and could not otherwise be crushed due to their size gained a certain prominence .

The method is controversial because of the still existing risk of groundwater pollution and possible impairment of the landscape .

Recovery / products

Recovery of the bone
  • Animal meal can be used as an additional fuel in coal-fired power plants. Feeding to farm animals used to be common, but has been banned by law to prevent the spread of BSE .
  • Meat meals made from raw materials of categories 2 and 3 are used as NP fertilizer.
  • Animal fat can be sold to the chemical industry and processed into lubricating grease for technical applications or into fatty acid methyl esters ( biodiesel ).
  • Meat feed meal, meat bone meal: differs from animal meal in that it has a higher proportion of bones
  • Food bone meal : crushed, defatted bones; serves primarily as a mineral carrier
  • Animal charcoal used to be processed into activated charcoal ; but can also be found in black powder .
  • In January 2011 , what was probably the first biogas plant in the world went into operation in Switzerland , which fermented mainly slaughterhouse waste

Legal background in Germany

According to the German Animal Body Disposal Act of September 2, 1975, the carcasses of horses, sheep, cattle, pigs and goats had to be disposed of without harm. It is similar in the Austrian Animal Disease Act (Section 14) of 1909.

The German Animal Carcass Disposal Act has since been replaced by the Animal By-Product Disposal Act (TierNebG) of January 25, 2004. With this law, the requirements of the EU Regulation (EC) No. 1774/2002 on animal carcass disposal have been implemented, in particular - graded according to health risk - 3 categories of material requiring disposal are introduced, of which only material of categories 1 and 2 is in a company approved for this purpose needs to be eliminated. Category 3 material (including a large part of slaughterhouse waste in particular) can e.g. B. be used to generate energy or for animal feed production.


The historical name of the places where animal carcass recycling outside the towns and villages in German-speaking countries was used was Wasenmeisterei or covering shop ; The job title " Wasenmeister " for the offices or persons involved in the removal of cadavers is in use in Switzerland and Liechtenstein into the 21st century.


In 2002, about 2.7 million tons of slaughterhouse waste was produced in Germany, which was processed into about 400,000 tons of meat and bone meal, 150,000 tons of meat-bone meal and 300,000 tons of fat. Other animal products are, for example, fur and feathers, which are turned into leather and down .


Sources / web links

Individual evidence

  1. Art. 24 Disposal of animal by-products of category 3. In: SR 916.441.22 Ordinance of 25 May 2011 on animal by-products (VTNP). June 1, 2018, accessed January 5, 2020 .
  2. 11/2005: Foodwatch: Slaughterhouse waste in food ( Memento of December 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  3. PER environmental damage triggered by a PER-operated animal carcass recycling facility
  4. saw: With explosives against frozen cows. Cattle lost their way in the Rocky Mountains. In: FOCUS Online. April 18, 2012, Retrieved July 4, 2012 .
  5. AG Biorender, Münchwilen, Biogas für Winterthur ( Memento of the original dated November 29, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , P. 13, January 2012 (PDF; 3.8 MB). @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. repealed with effect from March 4, 2011 by Article 54 of Regulation (EC) No. 1069/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council with hygiene regulations for animal by-products not intended for human consumption and for the repeal of Regulation (EC) No. 1774 / 2002 (Ordinance on Animal By-Products) of October 21, 2009 (OJ EU of November 14, 2009 No. L 300, p. 1 (32)).