Specified Risk Material - Requirements for Transporting Cattle Carcasses

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On July 12, 2007, enhanced animal health safeguards came into effect to help eliminate bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, from Canada. Certain cattle tissues capable of transmitting BSE, known specified risk material (SRM), are banned from all animal feeds, pet foods and fertilizers. There are also requirements for anyone transporting cattle carcasses or remains.

What are SRM?

SRM are defined as:

  • the skull, brain, trigeminal ganglia (nerves attached to the brain), eyes, tonsils, spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia (nerves attached to the spinal cord) of cattle aged 30 months or older; and
  • the distal ileum (portion of the small intestine) of cattle of all ages.

Note: Permit Requirements

A permit is required to transport:

  • cattle deadstock containing SRM;
  • raw, rendered or composted SRM; and
  • edible beef carcasses which still contain SRM.

Application for permit

Identifying SRM

All transported SRM must be identified as follows:

  • raw SRM from abattoirs must be dyed and packaged in dedicated, labelled containers;
  • rendered or composted products made from SRM must be dyed;
  • deadstock cattle must be marked with a visible stripe down their back; and
  • edible whole or partial carcasses of cattle aged 30 months or older containing the dorsal root ganglia must be marked with a meat marking dye along the vertebral column.

Transporting SRM - Commercial Transporters

A permit from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is required for all trucks or trailers used to transport SRM in any form, including deadstock. A copy of the permit must accompany all shipments of SRM.

Trucks or trailers that carry SRM as well as other products must be cleaned and disinfected between loads. SRM-dedicated trucks or trailers do not require special clean out procedures between loads. Dedicated trucks and trailers must be clearly marked on the outside with "SRM."

Transporting SRM - Non-commercial Transporters

A CFIA permit is required to transport SRM in any form. Permits must accompany all shipments of SRM.

Edible beef carcasses sent for cut and wrap, individual deadstock or small quantities of offal should be wrapped in a dedicated tarp or heavy plastic container visibly marked with the CFIA permit number. Vehicles transporting SRM that is not wrapped or otherwise segregated must be cleaned and disinfected after use.

Records of all SRM and deadstock movement must be kept for 10 years. This information must identify:

  • the name and address of the transporter;
  • the date of movement;
  • the name of the dye used;
  • Canadian Cattle Identification Agency or Agri-Traçabilité Québec tag numbers;
  • the combined weight of SRM and carcasses considered SRM, as well as the number of carcasses; and
  • the destination.
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