About Canada's Enhanced Feed Ban

To limit bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) spread among cattle, the Government of Canada banned most mammalian proteins, referred to as "prohibited material", from ruminant feed in 1997.

There were certain exceptions to this ban allowing porcine and equine meal to continue to be used in ruminant feed.

The Government also amended the federal Food and Drug Regulations and the Health of Animals Regulations to define and ban specified risk materials from human food in July 2003. This was the single most important step that could be taken immediately following BSE detection to protect public health.

In those amendments, the list of tissues defined as "specified risk material" and that are required to be removed from the human food and animal feed supply are:

  • skull
  • brain
  • trigeminal ganglia
  • eyes
  • tonsils
  • spinal cord
  • dorsal root ganglia of cattle over thirty months of age.

As well, the distal ileum (portion of the small intestine) of cattle of all ages must be removed.

The CFIA received additional funding in 2005-06 and subsequent fiscal years to support implementation and enforcement of an enhanced feed ban regulatory framework that took effect in 2007.

The enhanced feed ban was put in place to accelerate Canada's progress toward the reduction of the disease. The enhanced feed ban regulations are intended to ensure that specified risk material, which has been excluded from the human food supply since July 2003, is also excluded from animal feed, pet food, and fertilizers.

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