Animal by-products specific guidance

This page provides a range of specific guidance notes, documents and advice that have have been prepared in relation to animal by-products.

Registration, transport, handling and storage

Any operator, establishment or plant that generates, transports, handles, processes, stores, places on the market, distributes, uses or disposes of ABPs or derived products must be registered before commencing operations. If you wish to register, please visit our applications page.

ABP transporters need to be registered unless they are already transporting ABPs solely in connection with their approved or registered premises. Also separate transporter registration is not required in the case of a livestock keeper transporting carcases of their own animals.

With regard to handling requirements some specific guidance has also been developed. This covers hides and skins and wool.

Hides and skins are treated as ABPs unless they are being used for the production of gelatine and/or collagen for human consumption, in which case they must have come from animals that have passed ante and post mortem inspection and their storage must comply with the requirements for fresh meat in the food hygiene legislation. They must also be kept separate from hides and skins categorised as ABPs.

Factory-washed wool and wool which has been treated by another method which ensures that no unacceptable risks remain, may be placed on the market without restrictions.

Incineration and rendering

Animal by-products (ABPs) are often disposed of by incineration or following further processing, in particular rendering. Processed fat (also referred to as tallow) produced as part of the rendering process can be used as a boiler fuel subject to certain conditions being met.

The guidance in this section explains the approvals required, who you would need to contact to get approval, how processes you are operating need to be validated and other legislation that may be applicable, such as the Waste Incineration Directive (WID) EC 2000/76.

Further specific guidance is available via the links below:

Collection and feeding

The collection and use of animal by-product (ABP) material for feeding to animals, either directly or as an ingredient of animal feed, may be authorised under conditions which ensure the control of risks to public and human health.

The material must come from animals which were not killed or died as a result of the presence or suspected presence of a disease communicable to animals or humans and final users must be registered.

Further specific guidance is available via the links below:

Collection services

Contact details for those plants currently approved to process raw meat, fish and poultry in Northern Ireland.

Name Contact numbers Email address
Foyle Proteins Tel: 028 7186 1120
Fax: 028 7186 1293
Glenfarm Tel: 028 8445 1919
Fax: 028 9445 1920
Enviro-Care Tel: 028 6774 2026
Fax: 028 6774 2026
Mob: 0796 8821515
Linergy Tel: 028 8775 0050
Fax: 028 8775 0080

Food and feed businesses

The animal by-product (ABP) Regulations, Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE) Regulations and associated enforcement legislation prevent the use of most animal proteins in farm animal feed.

This is to reduce the risk of spreading exotic notifiable diseases such as:

  • Foot and Mouth Disease
  • Swine Fever
  • Avian Influenza and Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE) such as BSE.

This section explains the disposal of ABPs from food businesses and the exceptions that allow some animal proteins to be fed and the associated management controls and processes that are required. Further specific guidance is available via the links below.

Use and disposal from food businesses


The relevant EU legislation is:

  • Regulation 1069/2009 hereafter referred to as the "Control Regulation".
  • Implementing Regulation 142/2011 hereafter referred to as the "Implementing Regulation".

There are a number of types of food businesses, which can generate food material consisting of or containing products originating from animals, which are no longer intended for human consumption and are controlled by the Control Regulation. Food material consisting of or containing products originating from animals generally become an Animal By-Product (ABP), when the premises manager, or anyone nominated on the premises, makes a decision that the product is no longer to be used for human consumption.

For instance, this could be when it is removed from sale because it has passed its sell by date or use by date, or because it is damaged, soiled or contaminated to an extent that is no longer appropriate to display it for sale. The decision to determine that the product is an ABP, once made, is irreversible. The category of ABP it becomes is low risk category 3 and the origin of this food material determines how it can be disposed of or used under the Control Regulation.

These food businesses include:

  • restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens
  • retail, manufacturing and distribution premises
  • means of transport operating internationally - such as yachts, ships, planes etc.

Restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens

ABPs from restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens are classified as 'catering waste' under the Control Regulation.

Catering waste is defined in Annex 1 (22) of the Implementing Regulation as 'All waste food, including used cooking oil originating in restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens, including central kitchens and household kitchens.'

Retail, manufacturing and distribution premises

ABPs from retail, manufacturing and distribution premises include products of animal origin, foodstuffs containing products of animal origin no longer intended for human consumption, pet food and animal feed of animal origin no longer intended for feeding.

Some supermarket and manufacturing returns depots require approval under the Control Regulation, whereas generators of food waste do not require such approval.

Means of transport operating internationally - such as yachts, ships, planes etc

ABPs (catering waste) from means of transport operating internationally are defined as International Catering Waste. This type of ABP is considered high risk category 1 due to the potential for such ABP to contain exotic notifiable disease virus.

Options for dealing with ABPs at food businesses

Once the food business has decided that a food material has become an ABP, the operator has to decide whether the ABP is:

  • to be dispatched for disposal using the options available in the ABP legislation such as landfill, composting, biogas, processing at a rendering plant, incineration etc where these activities are allowed under conditions required by the ABP legislation
  • eligible and is to be dispatched for pet food manufacture
  • eligible and is to be dispatched for use in animal feed

Further guidance is available from these links:

Compost, biogas and manure

Animal by-products (ABP) or derived products can be disposed of by composting or anaerobic digestion. The requirements for this are set out in Annex V of the EU control regulation.


is the biological degradation of organic material in the presence of air and water. Microbes present on the surface of the material proliferate using oxygen from the air and nutrients present in the material. As a result of the microbial activity heat is produced. As the temperature increases different types of microbes are activated depending on their temperature preferences.

Anaerobic digestion

is the biological digestion of organic material in the absence of oxygen for the production and collection of biogas. The biogas, mainly methane, is collected to be used as a fuel.

Further specific guidance is available via the links below:

Pet cemeteries

This document provides useful advice and guidance in relation to pet cemeteries including information on where you can build them and how to register them

More useful links

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