Feed ban regs delayed

Mar 20, 2009
by DTN
Feed ban regs delayed

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said last Wednesday that it will allow a 60-day delay on implementing more stringent feed ban regulations for livestock feed ingredients.

The regulations, meant to help prevent any potential spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), have come under fire for creating unnecessary hardship for the industry.

The rule was scheduled to take effect on April 27. The spokeswoman said the delay would allow “a little more time” for compliance. When the rule was unveiled last April, FDA said it “will further strengthen existing safeguards” against BSE. Under the revised rule, animal feed cannot contain cattle parts that would pose the greatest risk of spreading BSE. They include the brains and spinal cords from cattle that are 30 months or older, brains and spinal cords of cattle of all ages that are not inspected for slaughter, and carcasses of cattle infected with BSE. Only three cases of BSE have been reported in the U.S. since December 2003. The most recent case was diagnosed on March 15, 2006. Since 1997, the U.S. has barred the use of high-risk cattle parts in feed prepared for ruminant animals, which include cattle.

Scientists say mad cow disease, a fatal brain ailment, is caused by malformed proteins and is spread by consumption of infected meats. It generally is a disease of older cattle.

U.S. safeguards include the “feed rule” and a ban on slaughter for food use of nonambulatory cattle too sick to walk.