Specified Risk Material - Requirements for the Salvage Use of Livestock 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 using salvaged livestock material as feed for pets or other animals.

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

Cattle carcasses that contain SRM are also considered SRM.

Using Salvaged Livestock Material as Food for Other Animals

SRM in any form cannot be fed to any animal. As well, carcasses of ruminant deadstock other than cattle-such as deer, elk and sheep-cannot be used to feed animals raised for food or fur.

If a permit is obtained from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), cattle carcasses from which SRM has been removed may be fed to animals not raised for food, such as those in zoos. No restrictions apply to the use of salvaged carcasses of non-ruminant animal species.

Transporting SRM

A CFIA permit is required to transport and receive cattle carcasses containing SRM. A visible stripe must be applied down the backs of carcasses before they are transported.

CFIA permits are also required to transport SRM removed from cattle carcasses. All transported SRM must be dyed.

No CFIA transportation requirements apply if SRM, including composted SRM, permanently remains on the premises of a farm, abattoir or zoo. Onsite disposal methods must respect municipal and provincial regulations.

Records of SRM and cattle carcass movement, including receipt and disposal, 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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