South Dakota and Minnesota officials are readying producers for the new rendering regulation that goes into effect this spring that could affect their ability to dispose of dead cattle.

South Dakota State Veterinarian Sam Holland assured producers recently that full rendering services for the disposal of cattle carcasses in the state will be available after April 27.

There was some concern among area beef and dairy producers regarding FDA’s final expanded feed ban rule, effective April 27, which will prohibit the brain and spinal cord of cattle greater than 30 months of age from all feed or foods, thus making it difficult for renderers and producers to dispose of those animals. But Central Bi-Products, the rendering division of Farmer’s Union Industries LLC, notified Holland recently of its new policy for carcasses of cattle greater than 30 months of age.

Central Bi-Products says it intends to pursue protocols that will allow continued service for those carcasses in the firm’s “pickup areas” in Minnesota and South Dakota, utilizing alternatives that will involve energy uses instead of food uses for those products. The firm says it will continue dead animal removal services for older cattle at an added cost estimated to be about $35/animal over 30 months of age, beginning April 1.

Meanwhile, Curt Zimmerman, Minnesota Department of Ag (MDA) livestock development supervisor, says producers, rendering companies, livestock organizations and state livestock experts are asked to consider the impact of the ban and what disposal options are available to beef and dairy farmers.

“On-farm pick-up will remain an option for producers, and we’re examining other disposal methods, such as composting and burial that may work for some producers,” Zimmerman says.

While most rendering services in Minnesota say they’ll continue farm pick-up of dead cattle, producers will be responsible for providing documentation proving the age of the cattle. If verification can’t be provided, the cattle will be considered to be over 30 months of age and producers will be charged accordingly by the rendering service.

To learn more, visit the Minnesota Board of Animal Health website at www.bah.state.mn.us.
-- South Dakota Animal Industry Board and MDA news releases