Ruminants are animals that have four chambers for digestion, are hoofed, even-toed, usually horned animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, bison, or elk. 

There has been a federal ban since 1997 against feeding rendered products to ruminants as well as feeding cattle materials to all animals due to a risk of spreading bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE.  These products include any protein of most mammalian animals.  See below for prohibited and allowed materials.

Prohibited Materials in Ruminant Feed  

Must be labeled “Do Not Feed To Cattle Or Other Ruminants” 

  • Animal by-product meal
  • Animal digest
  • Animal liver
  • Bone meal cooked or steamed
  • Bone marrow cooked
  • Chondroitin Sulfate
  • Dehydrated food waste
  • Dehydrated garbage
  • Distressed pet food
  • Dried meal solubles
  • Food processing waste
  • Fleshings hydrolysate
  • Glandular meal/extracted granular meal
  • Hydrolyzed hair
  • Hydrolyzed leather meal
  • Leather hydrolysate
  • Meat and bone meal
  • Meat and bone meal tankage
  • Meat by-products
  • Meal, meal meal, or meat protein isolate
  • Mechanically separated bone marrow
  • Restaurant food waste
  • Salvage pet food
  • Stock or broth
  • Tallow with more than 0.15% insoluble impurities (labeled "Do Not Need To Animals" in addition to "Do Not Feed To Cattle or Other Ruminants")
  • Unborn calf carcasses

Materials ALLOWED in Ruminant Feed 

  • Amino acids
  • Blood and blood porducts
  • Dicalcium phosphate
  • Gelatin
  • Milk products
  • Oil
  • Poultry protein
  • Plate waste with meat products that have been cooked for human consumption and have been further heated for animal feed
  • Pure horse protein
  • Pure pork protein
  • Restaurant cooking oils
  • Tallow with less than 0.15% insoluble impurities
  • Vegetable protein

Cattle Materials Prohibited in ALL Animal Feed

Must be clearly marked "CMPAF"

  • Brain or spinal cord of cattle older than 30 months
  • Carcass of BSE-positive cattle
  • Entire carcass of cattle older than 30 months without brains or spinal cord effectively removed
  • Tallow exceeding 0.15% insoluble impurities from brain or spinal cord of cattle age 30 months or older