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Archived - Notice to Industry – Reminder: Enforcement of the Enhanced Feed Ban Provisions in Fertilizers

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June 10, 2016 – Ottawa, ON – Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

In 1997, Canada introduced a feed ban as a precautionary measure to limit the potential spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). In 2007, the feed ban was enhanced to further protect animal health and accelerate the eradication of BSE from Canada's domestic herd. This enhanced feed ban included restrictions on fertilizers and supplements. As part of safe practices, the CFIA is reminding industry members that fertilizers and supplements containing prohibited material must have precautionary statements on the label.

Requirements for fertilizers containing prohibited material

Fertilizers and supplements containing prohibited material must have precautionary statements on the label which prohibit the user from feeding the product to ruminants or spreading it on grazing land. The label should also indicate that the product is not to be ingested and a person should wash their hands after using the product. These restrictions have not changed since they were first implemented in 2007 when the Enhanced Feed Ban came into force.

Composted animal by-products, including poultry manure from birds that have been fed prohibited material are still considered prohibited material and require the precautionary statements on the label. Composting and anaerobic digestion are not recognized as effective methods of destruction of the BSE infective agent.

Products that are found to be non-compliant with the above restrictions may be subject to regulatory action.

Specified risk materials in fertilizers and supplements

Specified risk materials remain prohibited from use in fertilizers and supplements unless authorized by a permit issued under the Health of Animals Regulations. Spreading fertilizers or supplements that contain specified risk materials on land where food or feed crops are grown or where animals are grazed is not permitted.

What are specified risk materials?

Specified risk materials (SRM) are defined as the skull, brain, trigeminal ganglia, eyes, palatine tonsils, spinal cord and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) of cattle aged 30 months or older, as well as the distal ileum of cattle of all ages. These tissues are designated as SRM because, in BSE infected cattle, they contain the BSE agent and may transmit the disease. The skull of cattle over thirty months, excluding the mandible and horns, is also designated as SRM because of the high probability of it becoming contaminated at the time of stunning and during manipulation of the other tissues.

What are prohibited materials?

Prohibited material means anything that is, or that contains any, protein that originated from a mammal. The following exceptions are not considered prohibited material:

Prohibited material that has been treated to inactivate the agents that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies is no longer considered prohibited material.

Associated Links

2012 Enhanced Feed Ban Review


Media Relations
Canadian Food Inspection Agency

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