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RG-4 Regulatory Guidance:
Disposal of animals, their products or by-products through commercial inedible rendering

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Commercial inedible rendering has traditionally served as an outlet to process animals and their products or by-products for numerous applications. Certain products derived from the rendering process (e.g., tallow, meat and bone meal) are commonly used in livestock feed. To protect animal and human health, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) enforces federal regulations governing the production and use of rendered materials that may be used in animal feed.

The CFIA regulates the import, manufacture and sale of livestock feed under the authority of the federal Feeds Act and Regulations. Any ingredient added to livestock rations must first be approved and listed in the Feeds Regulations. This legislation stipulates that, besides being effective, ingredients and mixed feeds must also be safe for humans, animals and the environment. No product may be used as a feed ingredient without first undergoing a rigorous safety review and approval.

This policy is intended to explain and clarify the conditions regarding the disposal of animals, both food and non-food (and their products and by-products), through commercial inedible rendering.


For the purposes of this policy, the terms used are defined as follows:

Animal product: Any product that is consumed by humans and originates from a bird, mammal or fish (e.g. meat, milk, eggs). This includes food by-products (e.g. whey, lactose) derived from animal products.

Animal by-product: Any product that is not consumed by humans and originates from an animal or animal product (e.g. egg shells, meat and bone meal) intended for consumption by animals.

Commercial inedible rendering: A cooking, separating and drying process that uses animal, fish and/or poultry carcasses or their by-products, including bone, fat, hide and feathers, to produce purified fat and protein products for use in such things as livestock feed, pet food, fertilizer or industrial applications.

Food animal: Any animal classified as a mammal, fish or bird that is slaughtered and processed as a meat product for human consumption.

Food animal used in research: Any animal involved in feeding, administering and/or exposure to new unapproved substances for research purposes, or an animal that is considered novel.

Enhanced feed ban

As of July 12, 2007, a series of enhancements to the Feeds Regulations and the Health of Animals Regulations came into effect. These enhancements were intended to further protect animal and human health, primarily by strengthening the 1997 ruminant feed ban, and included additional restrictions on what materials may be used in animal feed. Section 19 (1) (d.2) of the amended Feeds Regulations specifies what types of animal proteins may be used, as follows:

  • "[a feed shall not contain] proteins in any form derived from the carcass of an animal other than (i) a fish, or (ii) a food animal, as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990, that was slaughtered for human consumption as food or was raised for slaughter for human consumption as food".

Animals not raised for human consumption may contain disease organisms, residues of veterinary drugs, other chemicals or genetic modifications that may carry forward into livestock feed via commercial inedible rendering. As a measure to prevent animals not raised for human consumption from entering the livestock feed chain, the animals listed below are prohibited from being processed by means of commercial inedible rendering for livestock feed:

Prohibited for Processing in Commercial Inedible Rendering (as of July 12, 2007) for livestock feed:

  • zoo animals
  • companion animals
  • non-food animals used in research or their by-products
  • other non-food animals, including wild animals
  • animals killed along roadways
  • food animals used in research that are not approved for release*

* see section below for more information on food animals used in research

Consequently, only the following will be permitted for commercial inedible rendering for use in livestock feed:

Permitted for Processing in Commercial Inedible Rendering for livestock feed:

  • food animals
  • food animal products and by-products
  • food animals used in research*
  • food by-products

* see section below for more information on food animals used in research


All operators of commercial inedible rendering facilities in Canada are required by the Health of Animals Regulations to obtain a permit from the CFIA to operate their plants. Each facility operator is required, as a condition of their permit, to establish and maintain controls to prevent prohibited animals (zoo animals, companion animals, non-food animals used in research, other non-food animals, animals killed along roadways, and food animals used in research that are not approved for release) and their by-products, from being collected and processed. Alternative methods should be sought for disposal, destruction or alternative uses for these animals in accordance with the appropriate legislation (e.g., municipal, provincial).

Food Animals used in Research

In the course of experimental research on food animals, residues and contaminants could accumulate in the tissues and/or in the products or by-products of these animals. These residues and contaminants may not be destroyed by the commercial inedible rendering process, and could have an adverse impact on animal health, food safety, and thus human health. Therefore, the following guidelines are provided for determining if and when food animals used in research are permitted for commercial inedible rendering.

Research using food animals could include, but is not restricted to, research on experimental livestock feeds, veterinary biologics, veterinary drugs, pesticides and biotechnology-derived animals (somatic cell nuclear transfer clones, transgenics, etc.).

The following conditions must be met prior to food animals (including control animals) used in research or the products derived from them (e.g. milk, eggs, etc.), being permitted for processing by commercial inedible rendering or incorporation into livestock feeds:

  1. Research trials must be evaluated by the relevant regulatory authority, and
  2. Research animals must be found safe for disposition by commercial inedible rendering for livestock feed by the relevant regulatory authority evaluating the research.

The relevant regulatory authority could include one or more programs within the following federal regulatory departments:

  • CFIA (including the Feed Program and the Veterinary Biologics Section);
  • Health Canada (including the Veterinary Drugs Directorate, Pest Management Regulatory Agency) ; and/or
  • Environment Canada.

Only when specific conditions are met and approval is granted can the following be used in rendering and/or in livestock feed:

  • food animals used in research treated with new or unapproved drugs in Canada;
  • food animals used in research treated with experimental veterinary biologics;
  • food animals used in research fed unapproved livestock feed or ingredients; and
  • food animals developed through biotechnology, where the animal is considered novel.

For more information, please contact:

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Animal Feed Division
(responsible for regulation of livestock feed, related research evaluation and approval)

Animal Feed Division
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
59 Camelot Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0Y9

E-mail: cfia.afp-paa.acia@inspection.gc.ca
Facsimile: 613-773-7565

Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Canadian Centre for Veterinary Biologics
(responsible for regulation of veterinary biologics)

Canadian Centre for Veterinary Biologics
Terristrial Animal Health Division
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
59 Camelot Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0Y9

Telephone: 613-773-7408
Facsimile: 613-773-7570

Health Canada
(responsible for regulation of veterinary drugs)

Veterinary Drugs Directorate
Health Canada
Holland Cross Complex
14-11 Holland Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0K9

Telephone: 613-954-5687
Facsimile: 613-957-3861

Environment and Climate Change Canada
(responsible for regulation of animals derived via techniques of biotechnology)

Substances Management Information Line
Information Management and Data Collection
Science and Technology Branch
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Place Vincent Massey, 351 St. Joseph Blvd
Gatineau, QC, K1A 0H3

Telephone: 1-800-567-1999 (Toll Free in Canada) / 1-819-938-3232 (Outside of Canada)
Facsimile: 1-819-938-5212
E-mail: eccc.substances.eccc@canada.ca

Health Canada
Pest Management Regulatory Agency
(responsible for regulation of pesticide products)

2720 Riverside Drive
Ottawa, Ontario
A.L. 6606D2
K1A 0K9

Telephone: 1-800-267-6315 (Toll Free in Canada)
Facsimile: 613-736-3798