Managing Specified Risk Material Under the Enhanced Feed Ban

Enhanced feed ban regulations came into effect on July 12, 2007. The regulations were designed to complement existing measures to eliminate bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) from the Canadian cattle herd as quickly as possible. The regulations have led to significant changes, and have impacted livestock producers across Ontario.


In BSE-infected cattle, the BSE agent concentrates in tissues known as specified risk materials (SRM). BSE is believed to be spread when cattle consume feed containing SRM from infected cattle. To protect public health, these tissues have been removed from all cattle slaughtered for human consumption since 2003.

To prevent the spread of BSE among cattle, Canada banned most mammalian animal proteins, including SRM, from cattle feed in 1997. To better protect animal health at large, as of July 12, 2007 enhanced federal regulations also ban SRM from all other animal feeds, pet foods and fertilizers.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), removing SRM from the entire animal feed system greatly reduces the potential contamination of cattle feed during production, distribution, storage or use. Applying precautions to pet food and fertilizer materials limits the possibility of cattle and other susceptible animals being exposed to these products. The enhanced regulations should result in a speedier eradication of BSE from the national cattle herd.

Specified Risk Materials:

SRM are those cattle tissues which are thought to have the potential of transmitting BSE.

They include:

  • 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 all cattle aged 30 months or older, and
  • the distal ileum (portion of the small intestine) of cattle of all ages.

The whole carcass is considered to be SRM for any dead bovine animal from which the SRM has not been removed.

Livestock producers who handle, transport or dispose of cattle remains need to be aware of their responsibilities under federal and provincial regulations.

O. Reg. 106/09, Disposal of Dead Farm Animals under Ontario's Nutrient Management Act, 2002 allows carcasses of cattle that die on a farm and their SRM to be disposed of on-farm. Farm operators may dispose of carcasses by burial, composting or incineration, or by depositing carcasses or SRM in a disposal vessel or an approved anaerobic digester. The federal Health of Animals Regulations require all cattle remains, including compost derived from cattle to remain on the farm property where the animal died or a farm property contiguous to it unless it is legally transported to a legal disposal site. It is also necessary to continue reporting the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) ear tag numbers of deadstock to the database for removal.

Transporting SRM Off-Farm:

Any cattle deadstock that are moved from the farm where the animal died must comply with the requirements governing the transportation and identification requirements of the federal Health of Animals Regulations. A federal permit will be required if moving a cattle carcass to another non-contiguous farm property for disposal or for moving the carcass to a disposal facility licensed under O. Reg. 105/09-Disposal of Deadstock under Ontario's Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001 or to a waste disposal facility approved under Health of Animals Act and Ontario's Environmental Protection Act. The application form is available through the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The contact information is provided below. The permits are free, issued for 90 days, and may involve an on-farm inspection by CFIA staff.

Producers and those transporting dead animals should be aware that they are only allowed to deliver cattle deadstock to a facility that has a CFIA permit to receive SRM material. Check with staff at your normal delivery site to ensure that they have this permit.

The federal regulations require carcasses and any SRM removed from the carcass that are then removed from the farm or other place where the animal died to be stained with an indelible dye that is safe for consumption for animals.

In most cases dead animal collectors have assumed responsibility for staining cattle carcasses prior to removal. Nonetheless, cattle producers who normally use the services of a dead animal collector are advised to discuss this with their service provider.

Under the previous regulatory regime, people who transported deadstock in Ontario were required to have a clearly displayed marker affixed to their transport vehicle. Beginning March 27th, 2009 a marker is no longer required except for collectors licensed under O. Reg. 105/09. However, all persons transporting deadstock must ensure that the following minimum requirements in the provincial regulations are met.

  • Vehicle, trailer or transport container must be designed and equipped to prevent leakage or escape of the materials being transported ,
  • Surfaces that come into contact with a dead animal during transport must be constructed with impervious materials and be capable of withstanding repeated cleaning and sanitizing,
  • Dead animals must be transported without being in public view,
  • Dead animals must not be transported in the same vehicle as live animals or food for human consumption,
  • After delivering to a licensed disposal facility or permitted site, the vehicle must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before leaving the facility premises.Cleaning and sanitizing must be done before leaving a disposal facility.
  • Prior to transporting dead cattle a permit must be obtained from the CFIA,
  • Prior to being transported all dead cattle are to be stained down the back in accordance with federal law, have Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) ear tag attached and other imposed conditions.


Record keeping requirements have been added under the CFIA regulations. Producers must record the following information for any movement of SRM and cattle deadstock off-farm:

  • name and address of the transporter
  • date of movement
  • name of the dye used to mark the deadstock or SRM
  • Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (or Quebec) tag number
  • the combined weight of SRM and carcasses considered SRM, as well as the number of carcasses, and
  • the destination.

Because of the long incubation period for BSE, these records must be kept for 10 years.


The 1997 feed ban that prohibits most proteins derived from mammals from use in ruminant feed still applies. These materials can still be fed to non-ruminants including chickens, pigs and horses. However, since July 12, 2007, all feed, regardless of the species it is fed to, must be manufactured from SRM-free ingredients.

For more information about the new SRM regulations contact the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342 or visit .

Contacts for more information:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Kevin Joynes, Dead Animal Disposal Advisor


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300

This document is not a description of all of the requirements contained in O. Reg. 105/09, and the regulation itself must be to read to determine all such requirements. In the event that there is a conflict between the FSQA or O. Reg. 105/09 and this document, the FSQA and O. Reg. 105/09 govern.

Stakeholders should seek their own legal advice if they have concerns about the requirements or applicability of O. Reg. 105/09, or about the requirements or applicability of any other Act, regulation or policy mentioned in this document.

This document last was updated on March 26, 2009, and will be updated from time to time. Always check the OMAFRA website to ensure that you have the most up to date version of this document.”

Author: Kevin Joynes - Dead Animal Disposal Advisor/OMAFRA/AHWB/VIA; Bill Groot-Nibbelink - Livestock Regulatory Affairs Specialist/OMAFRA/AHWB/VS
Creation Date: 23 March 2009
Last Reviewed: 23 March 2009