Specified Risk Material - Blood Collection During Slaughter

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The CFIA will continue to allow the exemption of cattle blood from the requirements of the enhanced feed ban, so long as gross contamination of blood with specified risk material (SRM) is prevented.

The key concern is the prevention of the blood from being contaminated with SRM material during collection after stunning. For over thirty month (OTM) cattle, there is one main area where cross-contamination is likely to occur, i.e. from brain tissue which exudes from the stun hole. In OTM cattle, there is a strong likelihood that blood collected may be contaminated with SRM (neural) tissue. It is the responsibility of the plant operator to ensure that controls are in place to prevent this contamination.

Currently, there are three (3) scientifically proven methods approved by CFIA to effectively prevent gross contamination of bovine blood with SRM for use in feeds and food for animals within Canada:

  1. Blood collected by open method from age verified UTM will be considered exempted material if it does not contain blood from OTMs (zero tolerance);
  2. Humane kill using a non penetrative method (i.e. electrical kill stunning);
  3. Closed blood collection method (i.e. hollow knife or cannula).

The CFIA will implement the following process for blood collection in the federal establishments where the method is different than the three described above:

  1. All federal registered establishments must develop control measures for the prevention of cross-contamination of the blood during the slaughter process by having a written protocol within the prerequisite programs of their HACCP system. The Veterinarian in Charge (VIC) and the Regional Veterinarian Officer (RVO) must approve these protocols and they must then be submitted by the VIC or RVO to Karen McIntyre and Dr. Francine Lord as it will be reviewed to ensure consistency of application to the policy.
  2. During the review and approval process of the written protocols, the VICs and RVOs must ensure compliance with the three main pillars of concern with regards to blood collection, and the Acts and Regulations enforced by the Agency:
    1. Humane slaughter and humane handling
    2. Adequate prevention of contamination by SRM
    3. Rendering, Feeds and Fertilizers

Where the nasal cavity has not been compromised, the CFIA, at this time, will not require any measures from industry to prevent the blood from being contaminated with nasal drip. Compromise of the nasal cavity is considered likely in double stunned or misplaced stunned animals.

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