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By Janet Kubat Willette

jkubat@agrinews.com

An enhancement of the 1997 feed ban is going to cost dairy and beef producers money.

The enhancement, which goes into effect April 27, is designed to provide additional protection against bovine spongiform encephalophaty, or mad cow disease.

"There are some in the industry that question whether the enhancement is really necessary," said Curt Zimmerman, Minnesota Department of Agriculture livestock development supervisor. Zimmerman is facilitating a statewide study group that is dealing with the feed ban enhancement and its implications.

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Putting the law into practice means it will cost rendering companies more to handle dead cattle age 30 months and older and they will pass that cost along to producers, said Carl Denkinger, Minnesota Board of Animal Health agricultural specialist.

The fee structure isn’t finalized, but Zimmerman said he’s heard costs will vary from $20 to $35 per head to pick up dead stock older than 30 months.

The good news is that on-farm pick-up of dead cattle age 30 months and older will continue, Zimmerman said. A month ago, it was uncertain whether or not rendering companies would continue picking up cattle older than 30 months, he said.

The Food and Drug Administration rule enhancement prohibits the use of "high-risk cattle material in feed for all animal species." The 1997 rule prohibited feeding meat and bone meal from cattle byproducts to ruminants, Zimmerman said.

The FDA defines "high-risk cattle material" as:

• The entire carcass of BSE-positive cattle.

• The brains and spinal cords from cattle 30 months of age and older.

• The entire carcass of cattle not inspected and passed for human consumption, unless the cattle are less than 30 months of age or the brains and spinal cords have been removed.

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• Tallow derived from BSE-positive cattle.

• Tallow derived from CMPAF that contains more than 0.15 percent insoluble impurities.

• Mechanically separated beef derived from cattle material prohibited in animal feed.

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