Feed Ban

Feeding Regulations

The feed industry in Canada is governed primarily by the Feeds Act and the Feeds Regulations. The Animal Feed Division, Animal Health Directorate, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is responsible for administration of the Feeds Act and any other regulatory provisions that are delegated to it, such as the feed-related portions of the Health of Animals Regulations and the Food and Drugs Regulations. The Animal Feed Division also registers feeds and feed ingredients, develops feed-related policies, and manages publications such as the Compendium of Medicating Ingredient Brochures.

The Health of Animals Regulations were amended in 1997 when Canada banned most animal proteins, including specified risk material (SRM), from cattle feed. To provide further animal health protection, as of July 12, 2007, SRM are also banned from all other animal feeds, pet foods and fertilizers. SRM are those tissues that most likely contain the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) agent if a cow were infected. For cattle over the age of 30 months, those tissues include the skull, brain, spinal cord and a portion of the small intestine.

Removing SRM from the entire animal feed system addresses the risks associated with the potential contamination of cattle feed during production, distribution, storage or use. Applying the same measure to pet food and fertilizer materials addresses the possible potential exposure of cattle and other susceptible animals to these products.

The CFIA requires that SRM be identified and appropriately managed until disposal. Permits are required for anyone handling, transporting or disposing of SRM, including:

  • cattle producers;
  • abattoirs;
  • renderers;
  • fertilizer, pet food and feed manufacturers;
  • waste management facilities; and
  • transporters.

This broad-based system maintains continuous control over SRM until it no longer poses risks to animal health. With opportunities for BSE spread minimized, Canada is accelerating its progress toward the eventual eradication of the disease from the national cattle herd.

In May 2007, the World Animal Health Organization (OIE) officially categorized Canada as a “controlled risk status” country for BSE. Canadian beef gained this status due to Canada’s effective BSE surveillance, mitigation and eradication measures. The categorization allows for the safe trade in all beef and cattle under conditions, which Canada meets.

Canada could be approved for Negligible Risk status in the spring 2016 based on the measures we have in place and through surveillance that demonstrates those measures are effective.