Animal By-Products

Types and treatments of animal by-products

Animal by-products (ABPs) are grouped into three main categories:

  • Animal carcasses.
  • Parts of carcasses.
  • Products of animal origin.

Types of ABPs include:

  • Catering waste.
  • Used cooking oil.
  • Former foodstuffs.
  • Butcher and slaughterhouse waste.
  • Blood.
  • Feathers.
  • Wool.
  • Hides and skins.
  • Fallen stock.
  • Manure.
  • Ova.
  • Embryos and semen.

ABPs are classified into three categories - based on their potential risk to animals, the public and to the environment.

Category 1 ABPs

These are very high-risk materials, e.g. animal carcasses or parts of carcasses suspected or confirmed as being infected by a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. They must be disposed of by incineration or processing (rendering) followed by incineration. Specified Risk Material - such as the brain and spinal cord of cattle - is also Category 1 but can be destroyed by incineration or rendering to a required standard.

Category 2 ABPs

These are other high-risk materials including:

  • Fallen stock.
  • Manure.
  • ABPs that are potentially contaminated, for example, animals that died on the farm, have been killed on the farm as part of disease control measures, or are at risk of residues of veterinary drugs.

Category 2 materials may be disposed of by incineration and rendering, and unprocessed material cannot be used for landfill. Some Category 2 ABPs may be recycled for uses other than feeds after appropriate treatment, for example use as:

  • Biogas.
  • Composting.
  • Oleo-chemical products.
Category 3 ABPs

These are the lowest-risk materials, they include:

  • Raw meat that has passed meat inspection (but is not intended for human consumption).
  • Waste from food manufacturers and retailers.

Category 3 ABPs cannot generally be disposed of as landfill, but can be disposed of using various other methods, including:

  • Incineration.
  • Rendering.
  • Composting.
  • Anaerobic digestion.
  • Being used in approved pet food.
  • Being used in a technical plant.
Disposing of ABPs

You must dispose of ABPs using the appropriate method for the category of waste. These methods include:

  • Rendering or incinerating.
  • Landfill - e.g. for catering waste and certain former foodstuffs.
  • Composting.
  • Biogas generation.

Catering waste containing ABPs can be disposed of in landfill, as long as there is no access to it by ruminant animals, pigs or poultry. You can also incinerate or render catering waste, but it cannot be fed to farm animals.

You can dispose of former foodstuffs, such as out-of-date produce, by:

  • Incineration.
  • Rendering.
  • Use in pet food.
  • Composting.
  • Use in biogas plants.

Some foods can be disposed of at approved landfill sites, as long as they have been heat-treated first.