Specified risk material - Blood collection during slaughter

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The CFIA will continue to allow the exemption of cattle blood from being classified as Specified Risk Material (SRM), so long as cross contamination of blood with SRM is prevented.

The key concern is the prevention of neurological tissue externalized during the stunning process, from falling into the blood collection pit following sticking. The potential for such contamination is associated with the stunning method employed on over thirty month (OTM) cattle. It is the responsibility of the abattoir operator to develop and implement effective controls to prevent occurrence of this contamination.

Currently, there are four (4) CFIA approved methods to effectively prevent SRM cross contamination of bovine blood intended for use in feeds and food for animals within Canada:

  1. Blood collected by open method from age verified under thirty month (UTM) will be considered exempted material if it does not contain blood from OTMs (zero tolerance);
  2. The application of edible grease, tampons or other equivalent devices to seal the stun hole, this method must only be considered after the grossly visible brain material is removed from the face plate by trimming, washing, scraping and/or vacuuming.

    The nasal cavity is considered likely compromised in double stunned or misplaced stunned animals. In such situations the collection of blood is acceptable only if a specific mitigation measure is included in the Preventive Control Plan (PCP). Where the nasal cavity has not been compromised, the CFIA will not require any additional measures to prevent the blood from being contaminated with nasal drip.

  3. Humane stunning using a non-penetrative method (for example, electrical kill stunning, ritual slaughtering without stunning, etc.);
  4. Closed blood collection method (for example, hollow knife or cannula).

Any cattle abattoir operator wishing to utilize an alternate procedure to prevent the risk of SRM cross-contamination of blood must submit a detailed written protocol to the CFIA or the competent authority prior to implementation.

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