Supplying and using animal by-products as farm animal feed

How to use and supply animal by-products (ABPs) as farm animal feed or in feed, and how to get your site registered and approved.

Applies to England, Scotland and Wales

When ABPs are farm animal feed

Your ABPs or ABP-based feeds are considered farm animal feed if they’re for:

  • any animal kept fattened or bred by humans for food, wool, fur, feather, hides and skins or any other product
  • any horses kept by humans
  • any farm animal species kept as pets, for example sheep or exotic pig breeds
  • ruminants (animals that chew the cud) kept in zoos or safari parks, for example llamas or giraffes
  • farmed fish or shellfish
  • farmed rabbits

Processing ABPs for feed

You must process all ABPs intended for use in feed except eligible foods no longer meant for human consumption, for example surplus bakery products that don’t contain meat, fish or shellfish.

At a food processing plant, you can process:

  • milk or milk products
  • eggs or egg products
  • fats or fish oils
  • gelatine from non-ruminants (animals that do not chew the cud)

You must process other ABPs at an ABP-approved processing facility.

Find out how to process milk for use as farm animal feed.

ABPs you can use

If you’re making farm animal feed from ABPs, you can only use some low risk category 3 ABPs.

You can use:

  • bakery and confectionery products that do not contain meat, fish or shellfish
  • milk or milk products
  • egg or egg products
  • animal fats and fish oils
  • hydrolysed proteins
  • gelatine and collagen from non-ruminant sources
  • glycerine (from certain approved biodiesel plants)

There is a complete ban on using any household kitchen waste and from catering waste containing products of animal origin. It is illegal to use catering waste from kitchens which handle meat, or vegetarian kitchens which may handle dairy products, eggs and so on. This ban also includes catering waste from restaurants and commercial kitchens including those that produce vegan food.

You can only feed these ABPs to non-ruminants (animals that do not chew the cud):

  • fishmeal
  • blood products
  • dicalcium and tricalcium phosphate of animal origin
  • processed animal protein (PAP) from poultry and pigs (only to farmed fish)

Find out about the different categories of ABP.

ABPs you cannot use

You must never use catering waste as farm animal feed, regardless of whether it’s vegetable or meat based or whether it comes from restaurants, households, or other sites.

You must never use:

  • scraps and catering waste from any restaurant or commercial kitchen (including vegan kitchens)
  • scraps and kitchen waste (including from vegan households)
  • raw meat and fish (including shellfish) or any ABPs containing them
  • fully or partially cooked meat, fish and shellfish or any ABPs containing them
  • any unprocessed egg and egg products, milk and milk products or any other unprocessed products of animal origin
  • collagen and gelatine from ruminants or any products containing it
  • unwanted food products, meant for humans, that are decomposing, mouldy, or toxic

You cannot make or supply farm animal feed using processed animal protein (PAP) unless:

  • it comes from non-ruminant animals and you’re feeding it to farmed fish
  • it’s fishmeal and you’re feeding to non-ruminant animals

When your site needs approval

You must get your site approved to make farm animal feed by the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) if it’s a:

  • supermarket or manufacturers’ returns depot that takes in food waste that’s allowed to be made into feed and food waste that is not
  • supermarket or manufacturers’ returns depot where returned waste contains raw or partially cooked ABPs
  • feed business that takes in ruminant collagen and gelatine for bulking and disposal, as well as food waste that is to be made into feed

Your site must be approved as a processing plant by the APHA if you source:

  • food factory vegetable oil which has been in contact with animal proteins, for example flash frying products of animal origin
  • foodstuffs no longer intended for human consumption to extract oil for use in feeds

When you must register your site

You must register your site with your local authority, under feed hygiene laws, if you supply, use or handle animal feed.

See the Food Standards Agency’s website for more information on feed hygiene.

Milk processing

Find out how to register as a milk processing site or transporter.

Using bakery products

You can use bakery products, like bread, cakes, pastry, biscuits, pasta, chocolate, sweets, and breakfast cereals to make farm animal feed.

They cannot contain or have had any contact with meat, fish, or shellfish.

They must be processed by using one of these methods:

  • heating
  • smoking
  • curing
  • maturing
  • drying
  • marinating
  • extraction
  • extrusion

They may only be made from or contain:

  • milk
  • milk-based or milk-derived products
  • eggs or egg products
  • honey
  • rendered fats
  • collagen or gelatine of non-ruminant origin
  • rennet

Uncooked doughs, pastries, fillings and toppings are only considered to be safe and processed after any ABP used as an ingredient has been heat treated.

Using milk and dairy products

Find out how to process milk and dairy products for use as animal feed.

Using eggs or egg products

If you’re using eggs or egg products as or in farm animal feed, they must be processed:

Using fats and oils

Once there’s no animal protein (for example tissue, muscle fibre, bone) in your final product, you can make feed from:

  • glycerine from an approved biodiesel site, if the source material is a category 3 ABP and not catering waste
  • processed fats and oils (poultry fat, fish oil, and tallow)
  • fat, lard, fish oil or dripping from a human food factory
  • foods containing small amounts of oils, no longer meant for human consumption, that have been processed at an approved facility
  • food factory vegetable oil (FFV) which was used to flash fry meat or fish, then processed in an approved ABP processing facility

If you’re rendering fats from ruminant animals, the maximum level of total insoluble impurities cannot be above 0.15%.

You cannot make feed from:

  • fat or dripping from kitchens, catering establishments, restaurants and rotisseries at supermarkets

Find out about using fats and oils to make biodiesel.

Using hydrolysed proteins

Hydrolysed proteins are proteins that have been broken down into polypeptides, peptide and amino acids.

There are currently no plants approved to make hydrolysed protein in Great Britain.

If you want to make hydrolysed protein, you must prove in testing that your final product is consistent and contains no traces of animal tissues.

You can check your product using the Microscopic Analysis Testing (MAT) process, which your business will have to pay for - contact the APHA to arrange this.

Using gelatine and collagen

You can only use gelatine or collagen to make animal feed if it comes from non-ruminant animals (animals that do not chew the cud).

You must make sure any bakery or confectionery products you’re using do not contain ruminant gelatine or collagen.

Processed animal proteins (PAPs)

Processed animal proteins are category 3 ABPs which have been processed, for example meat meals, bone meals, horn meals and greaves.

You can only use these PAPs as farm animal feed:

  • fish meal, if you’re feeding non-ruminant animals, like pigs, horses, and poultry
  • PAP from non-ruminant animals if you’re feeding farmed fish


Fishmeal is a processed animal protein.

You must not feed farmed fish with fishmeal made from farmed fish of the same species.

Processing plants that make fishmeal, or other farmed fish feed from aquatic animals, must label it in one of 3 ways.

If the fishmeal is from wild fish:

  • the label must say ‘contains fishmeal from wild fish only – may be used for the feeding of farmed fish of all species’

If it’s from farmed fish:

  • the label must say ‘contains fishmeal from farmed fish of the […] species only – may only be used for the feeding of farmed fish of other fish species’

If it’s from a mix of wild and farmed fish:

  • the label must say ‘contains fishmeal from wild fish and farmed fish of the […] species – may only be used for the feeding of farmed fish of other fish species’

If you’re using green lipped mussel to make feed supplements, it will be considered fishmeal if you source it from an ABP-approved processing plant.

You cannot use green lipped mussel if it’s come from a food factory.

Dicalcium and tricalcium phosphate of animal origin

If you want to make dicalcium and tricalcium phosphate from ABPs for use in non-ruminant feed, talk to the APHA to find out how you must source and process the ABPs.

You must clearly label packaging with the wording ‘contains dicalcium/tricalcium phosphate of animal origin - shall not be fed to ruminants’.


You can only use low risk Category 3 blood from non-ruminant animals to make either blood meal or blood products for use in feed.

Blood products and blood meal

If a slaughterhouse has a separation system in place that removes blood from animals that fail post-mortem examinations, the resulting blood can be used to make blood products.

If there is no separation system in place it can only be used to make blood meal.

Blood products of non-ruminant origin can be used in feed for non-ruminant animals.

Blood meal that comes from non-ruminants is a PAP and can only be used in feed for aquaculture animals (for example, farmed fish and shellfish).

Find out how to process blood ABPs.

Dried terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates

Dried terrestrial invertebrates (insects) and processed animal proteins (PAPs) of insect origin cannot be used in farm animal feed or in treats, for example hen treats.

Dried aquatic invertebrates can only be used in farm animal feed (for non-ruminants) if they come from an approved ABP premises - then they’re considered fishmeal.

Transport and storage for supermarket returns depots

You must keep surplus bakery or confectionery products entirely separate from meat, fish, or shellfish products at all times.

This includes during their entire journey to and from a supermarket returns depot, and when you’re sending them for use at a feed business.

You can do this by:

  • selecting surplus bakery goods from low risk areas of the store
  • putting surplus bakery goods in colour-coded clear plastic bags or boxes, which are a different colour to any used for other food waste
  • transporting surplus bakery goods in their own dedicated roll cages or boxes
  • keeping boxes and roll cages separate at the returns depot

You should also check bags and boxes containing surplus bakery products, at your returns depot, to make sure they do not contain any meat, fish, or shellfish, or other waste products.

You must transport raw meat and raw fish and any products containing them in sealed and colour-coded plastic bags, in drip trays, to prevent leakage.

You should consider whether chilling or freezing is needed to keep materials from spoiling or decomposing, when the temperature outside is high.

Find out how to transport ABPs safely and label them for transit.

Loading and unloading ABPs at a supermarket returns depot

There are 3 main ways you can unload ABPs when they arrive at your site, by:

  • moving them directly to storage
  • emptying them into separate containers
  • using a separate area

Moving directly to storage

Constant flow means that you move roll cages containing colour-coded bags of bread or bakery products directly to storage in a bulker or transport unit.

Emptying into separate containers

You should have a separate container for:

  • bread and bakery products
  • raw meat and fish products
  • other food products

If you’re using this method you must make sure you:

  • move the materials in their containers for separate storage in a bulker or transport unit
  • keep each container 1.2 metres apart and only fill them from the front
  • separate the containers and area 1.2 metres in front with temporary barriers, for example cones
  • clean the containers at the end of the day or the end of the shift

Separate area

You can also use an entirely separate area at your site to store or hold roll cages containing ABPs.

If you do this you must make sure:

  • it’s clearly delineated from areas where former foodstuffs ineligible for feeding are stored
  • you separate storage areas for foods that can be used for feed and foods that can’t, with a solid boundary, a pallet’s width away
  • you have signs that clearly show the area is meant to be used as ‘storage for foodstuffs eligible for feeding only’

Find out more about site hygiene, safety, and storage.

Dealing with contaminated products

You must make sure farm animal feed is not contaminated with catering waste, meat products, or other banned animal proteins, to prevent major disease outbreaks, for example foot and mouth disease.

Your local authority can take legal action against your business if you supply farm animal feed products that are contaminated with animal proteins.

You could be fined or imprisoned or both, depending on whether the offence is under TSE or ABP regulations.

TSE regulations

For information on the requirements of the TSE regulations and feed controls, see the guidance note (PDF, 271 KB, 24 pages) for industry and enforcement authorities.

Published 5 September 2014
Last updated 14 January 2019 + show all updates
  1. TSE Regulations guidance note updated

  2. AHVLA documents have been re-assigned to the new Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

  3. AHVLA documents have been re-assigned to the new Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

  4. First published.