Animal by-products and food waste

Animal by-product categories


Animal by-products are divided into three categories according to their potential risk to human and animal health. There are different rules for disposing of waste in each category.

All three categories of animal by-products must be kept separate at all times. If material from one category is mixed with material from another category, the whole mixture must be treated as being in the higher risk category. For example, a mixture containing categories 1, 2 and 3 must be treated as a category 1 material.

For further information see the Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA) animal by-products general guidance.

Category 1 animal by-products

Category 1 is for very high risk material and includes:

  • animals and materials suspected or confirmed to be infected by transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), such as scrapie in sheep, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle
  • animals that have been experimented on
  • zoo and pet animal carcasses
  • wild animals suspected of having an infectious disease
  • catering waste from international transport, ie aircraft and ships
  • specified risk material (SRM), ie tissues from cattle, sheep or goats that might be infected with TSEs, or carcasses that have not had SRM removed
  • animal tissue collected when treating waste water from category 1 processing plants

Category 2 animal by-products

Category 2 is for high risk material and includes:

  • animals that are slaughtered to prevent the spread of disease
  • manure and digestive tract content
  • animals and parts of animals which die by means other than slaughtering, eg fallen stock
  • animal tissue collected when treating waste water from category 2 processing plants

Category 3 animal by-products

Category 3 is for low risk material and includes parts of animals that have been passed fit for human consumption in a slaughterhouse but which are not intended for consumption, including:

  • meat and fish from food manufacturers and retailers
  • former foodstuffs of animal origin, or containing products of animal origin - this includes food that is waste due to manufacturing or packaging defects
  • catering waste, other than catering waste from international transport
  • eggs and other by-products that do not show signs of infectious disease
  • milk
  • fish and other sea animals
  • shells
  • hooves, horns and feathers