The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that “cattle material prohibited in animal feed” (CMPAF) is non-hazardous solid waste and thus can be disposed of in landfills.

Since the publication of new feed regulations last year, many sectors, including packers and renderers, have been concerned about alternative disposal of CMPAF and dead stock that will no longer be rendered. Some landfills stated that CMPAF would be classified as hazardous waste and thus be very expensive to dispose.

Solid waste is regulated by state and local governments. While state/local governments and private landfills are free to apply restrictions on CMPAF, this clarification from EPA gives them a green light to accept. Many states and landfill operators have been reluctant to accept dead animals or certain specified risk materials in the past due to uncertainty regarding how EPA would classify the materials.

On April 25, 2008, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a final rule prohibiting the use of certain cattle parts in ALL animal feed, including pet food. The cattle parts that can no longer be used in animal feed, consist primarily of brains and spinal cords from cattle 30 months of age or older, and the entire carcass of dead stock cattle, unless such cattle are shown to be less than 30 months of age or the brains and spinal cords are removed. The new regulation, which was to become effective on April 27, 2009, is proposed to be delayed until June 26, 2009.

View the EPA notice for more information. To read related articles, link to the American Meat Institute.