Guidance

Using leftover milk and milk products as farm animal feed

Find out what milk you can use in farm animal feed, and how to process it for general sale or register to supply it to farms unprocessed.

If you have leftover milk or milk products that aren’t intended for human consumption at a dairy, creamery, shop or food manufacturing business, you can use them in farm animal feed as follows:

  • processed milk or milk products can be used in feed products that are made available for general sale
  • unprocessed milk or milk products can only be supplied to specific farms in the UK, under national rules

Processed milk or milk products tend to be one of many ingredients in a compound feed product.

Unprocessed milk or milk products tend to be fed directly to animals. For example leftover whey from a dairy might be fed to pigs on a farm.

Products such as cakes, where dairy products are only a small part of the product, are not covered by this guidance.

What milk and milk products you can use in farm animal feed

The following milk and milk products can be processed for use in feed products for general sale, or sent to farms unprocessed:

  • milk and milk products fit for, but no longer intended for, human consumption
  • by-products of the milk processing industry such as whey, centrifuge or separator sludge from a processor

White water (water used to clean dairy equipment) can only be sent to farms unprocessed. It can’t be processed for use in feed products for general sale.

The following milk and milk products can’t be used in any type of farm animal feed:

  • milk or milk products from catering sources (kitchens or canteens in homes, restaurants or other businesses)
  • milk directly from a farm (unless the farm is also a registered milk processing establishment, where it is treated as a dairy or creamery)

If classical scrapie is confirmed in a sheep flock or goat herd, you may not be able to use milk from the flock in feed for ruminants (cud-chewing mammals such as cattle, sheep, goats and deer).

How to process milk and milk products for use in farm animal feed for general sale

You must process milk and milk products that will be used in feed products made available for general sale at either of the following:

There are different processing requirements for milk, colostrum and centrifuge or separator sludge.

How to process milk to be used in farm animal feed for general sale

Process milk in 1 of the following ways:

  • pasteurise and then put through a drying process at a temperature of at least 72ºC to reduce moisture and create a powder
  • pasteurise and then reduce the pH to less than 6 for 1 hour
  • heat to 72ºC for at least 15 seconds (high-temperature, short-time, or HTST processing) twice, or an equivalent time-temperature combination that means the milk reacts negatively to a phosphate test
  • sterilise the milk to an F0 value of 3 or more (equivalent to heating to 121ºC within 3 minutes with instantaneous heating and chilling)
  • heat the milk to 132ºC for at least 1 second (ultra-high temperature or UHT processing) then put through a drying process at a temperature of at least 72ºC
  • UHT processing then reduce the pH to less than 6 for 1 hour

Any whey to be used in farm animal feed for general sale must:

  • be taken from milk treated by one of the methods in this section
  • taken at least 16 hours after the milk clotted
  • have a pH below 6

How to process colostrum to be used in farm animal feed for general sale

Pasteurise colostrum at 72ºC for at least 15 seconds (HTST processing).

You can only use colostrum from cows kept on holdings where all animals are officially free from the following diseases:

  • tuberculosis
  • brucellosis
  • enzootic bovine leukosis

You can’t use colostrum from cows that were showing signs of infectious disease at the time of milking.

How to process centrifuge or separator sludge to be used in farm animal feed for general sale

Centrifuge or separator sludge from milk processing facilities must be heat treated in 1 of the following ways:

  • heat to 70ºC or more for 60 minutes
  • heat to 80ºC or more for 30 minutes

How to register to supply unprocessed milk or milk products to farms

Milk processors must register on the national milk register to supply unprocessed milk or milk products to farms as farm animal feed.

In England and Wales you must register with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) in Worcester. You can send an email or write to:

Specialist Service Centre
APHA
Block C, Government Buildings
Worcester
WR5 2LQ
Telephone 01905 763355
Fax 01905 768649

In Scotland you must register with the Scottish government:

The Scottish Government
P Spur, Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
Edinburgh
EH11 3XD

You must also register with your local authority, which is responsible for monitoring feed hygiene standards. Registration is normally with the Trading Standards or Environmental Health departments, but your authority will be able to advise you.

Shops and food manufacturing businesses don’t have to register to supply unprocessed milk or milk products to farms as feed.

What you need to register

To register, you must provide:

  • the name of your organisation or trading name
  • your full address, telephone number and email address
  • a designated contact person from your organisation (this can be you)
  • a list of the milk and milk products you will supply as farm animal feed

In England and Wales you must provide a list of any farms you intend to supply directly, including their addresses. You can only directly supply farms you tell APHA about.

In England and Wales if you intend to supply an intermediary (supermarket, food factory or retailer) you must provide:

  • the name and address of the intermediary
  • the type of milk or milk products the intermediary will supply to farms as feed

Testing samples of unprocessed milk and milk products for bacteria

Unprocessed milk or milk products that you intend to supply direct to farms as feed under national rules must be tested for Salmonella and Enterobacteriaceae.

You should take samples when your products are in storage, or when you take them out of storage.

Find out more about laboratory testing requirements for ABPs, including details of how and when to take samples and where to send them for testing.

Transport and record keeping

You have to meet industry standards when transporting ABPs or labelling ABP material.

You need to store and transport your products chilled and in insulated containers (unless health risks can be mitigated by other methods due to the characteristics of the material).

If you are transporting processed milk products for use in farm animal feed for general sale:

  • thoroughly clean and disinfect any tankers you use to transport bulk volumes of your product
  • pack any final product in new containers