Specified Risk Materials - Requirements for Fertilizers and Supplements

This page is part of the Guidance Document Repository (GDR).

Looking for related documents?
Search for related documents in the Guidance Document Repository

Certain cattle tissues capable of transmitting BSE, known as specified risk material (SRM), are banned from all animal feeds, pet foods and fertilizers. There are also requirements for manufacturers and retailers of fertilizers and supplements (products other than nutrients that benefit plant growth or soil structure).

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.

Requirements for all Fertilizers and Supplements

SRM in any form cannot be used in fertilizers or supplements.

Every package of fertilizer or supplement must have a lot number printed on the label. This is a new requirement for fertilizers, but was already required for supplements. Customer-formula fertilizers are exempt from this requirement.

Requirements for Fertilizers and Supplements Containing Prohibited Material

Fertilizers and supplements containing certain animal proteins known as prohibited material (described in the Health of Animals Act) must be appropriately labelled, recorded and controlled. Prohibited material includes products derived from most mammalian proteins, including meat and bone meal.

The following material is not prohibited:

  • proteins derived from swine, horses, poultry and fish;
  • blood meal, milk and gelatine from any mammal;
  • tallow from cattle and other ruminants that contains less than 0.15% impurities; and
  • manure and solids from municipal wastewater treatment plants that do not receive SRM.

Labelling

Labels for fertilizers and supplements containing prohibited material must include precautionary statements, in both English and French, indicating that:

  • feeding the product to cattle, bison, sheep, goat, elk, deer or other ruminants is illegal and subject to fines or other punishments under the Health of Animals Act;
  • the product is not to be used on pasture land or other grazing areas for ruminants;
  • the product is not to be ingested; and
  • a person should wash his or her hands after the person uses the product.

According to the Fertilizers Act, if part of the product label is in both English and French, the entire product label must be in both official languages.

Recall Procedures

Recall procedures must be established by anyone who manufactures, imports, sells, or distributes a fertilizer or supplement containing prohibited material.

Record Keeping

Records of manufacture, distribution, importation and sale* of fertilizers and supplements containing prohibited material must be kept for 10 years.

Manufacturers - records of manufacture of fertilizer and supplements containing prohibited material must include the following information:

  • the name and address of the supplier of the protein products;
  • a signed statement from the supplier indicating that the protein products are free of SRM;
  • the formula of the fertilizer or supplement, including the name and weight of each ingredient used in each lot;
  • a mixing sheet that shows that each lot has been produced in accordance with the formula;
  • the date of manufacture; and
  • the name, quantity, lot number and description of the fertilizer or supplement.

Distributors and Importers - records for the importation and distribution of fertilizers and supplements containing prohibited material must include:

  • the name and address of any person to whom the fertilizer or supplement is sold or distributed; and
  • the name, quantity, lot number and description of the fertilizer or supplement.

Sellers - records for the sale of fertilizers and supplements containing prohibited material must include:

  • the name and address of any person to whom the fertilizer or supplement is sold or distributed; and
  • the name, quantity, lot number and description of the fertilizer or supplement.

*Fertilizers and supplements containing prohibited material sold in packages of less than 25 kg are exempt from point-of-sale record-keeping requirements. However, the seller is still required to keep records of product names, descriptions and lot numbers.

Compost Products

In accordance with general fertilizer regulations, if one or more ingredients in a compost product are considered prohibited material, the product is subject to the labelling, recall and record-keeping procedures. Compost that contains food-grade animal protein in the form of restaurant waste, grocery store waste, or household organic collection waste is not subject to the new labelling, recall and record-keeping procedures.

Compost containing any form of SRM (e.g. composted whole cattle deadstock) is considered SRM itself, and may not be sold as a fertilizer or supplement.

Composting is recognized as a means of volume reduction of SRM only, and has not been accepted as an inactivation method. A Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) permit is required to compost SRM. The final product cannot be sold, but in some instances may be used with restrictions under permit.

Requirements for Fertilizer Exporters and Importers

Fertilizers or supplements containing products from a rendering plant or a fish processing plant must be certified by the CFIA before export. Similarly, the importation of these products requires a CFIA import permit.

Registration of Products

There are no new fertilizer and supplement registration regulations. For information about which fertilizer and supplement products require registration, contact the CFIA's Fertilizer Section.

Additional Information

Date modified: