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 Knowledge for the CommonWealth

Feeding Ban on Poultry Litter and Other Proteins May Be Delayed

Livestock Update, April 2004

John Hall, Extension Animal Scientist, Beef, VA Tech

On January 26, 2004, the FDA announced its intention to publish an interim final rule that would ban the feeding of poultry litter and ruminant derived blood proteins. Since that time, producers have been waiting for the publication of this interim final rule in the Federal Register. Recently, Feedstuffs magazine (March 15, 2004) reported that Dr. Lester Crawford, FDA deputy commissioner, indicated that the FDA was still writing the interim final rule as of mid-March. Deputy Commisioner Crawford estimated that the publication of the interim final rule may take another two months. However, it could also be published more quickly.

What does this mean for beef and dairy producers? Simply, poultry litter can continue to legally be fed to cattle. In addition, milk replacers and colostrum substitutes that contain ruminant blood products may be fed to calves. However, producers need to be aware that it appears there will be no grace period to feed out existing stocks of these products once the rule is published. Therefore, producers should not buy additional supplies of these soon-to-be-banned feedstuffs unless they will only constitute a week's supply.

Cattle fed litter, milk replacers, or colostrum substitutes prior to the ban will still be able to be sold under normal marketing methods. However, cattle that consume banned feedstuffs after publication of the rule will not be able to enter the human food supply.

Virginia Cooperative Extension will continue to update producers on this feed ban as additional information becomes available.

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