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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Animal & Veterinary

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Deadline For Ruminant Feed Rule

October 9, 1997

October 3, 1997, was the deadline for certain provisions of FDA's ruminant feed regulations. The Food and Drug Administration last summer issued a rule that banned the use of rendered protein products derived from mammals in feed for beef and dairy cattle and in other ruminant animals. The ban exempts pure porcine or equine protein and does not apply to protein products made from poultry, marine, or vegetable sources.

The protein products prohibited from ruminant feeds are those that could contain tissue from the central nervous system and other non-meat parts of the animals. Under the rules, feed manufacturers and rendering companies must put the phrase "Do not feed to cattle or other ruminants" on the labels of all bulk shipments and individual packages of feed or ingredients containing prohibited protein.

Many provisions of the rule went into effect August 4, 1997, including requirements that companies dealing with protein products keep careful records on sources and shipments of subject protein feeds. However, the regulation allowed continued use of printed packaging, labels, labeling, and finished products manufactured before August 4, until those supplies were exhausted, but not after October 3, 1997. As of October 3, such materials and products may no longer be used.

FDA adopted the ban to protect U.S. cattle herds from the establishment and amplification of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, which has been reported in Europe. The disease has never been detected in the U.S. Scientists believe cattle can develop the disease after consuming rendered byproducts from infected animals.

More information about the rule is included in the "Guidance for Industry -- Animal Proteins Prohibited From Animal Feed; Small Entity Compliance Guide" (Guidance Document 60) which is available through the CVM Internet Home Page or by calling the CVM Communications Staff at 301-594-1755.


Contact FDA

240-276-9115 FAX
Issued by: FDA, Center for Veterinary Medicine

Communications Staff, HFV-12

7519 Standish Place

Rockville, MD 20855