Mike Tempest, our TT breed note writer, is employed in a professional capacity in the meat industry, and he has been concerned about recent reports that bones will no longer be available for dogs and will in the future have to be disposed of as waste. This was the interpretation put on the Animal By-Products Regulations 2003 by an Environmental Health Officer in North Wales.
DEFRA has recently published guidelines on these regulations. Guideline 9 says that effectively it is up to the Courts to define when bones for dogs become "waste". The Chief Executive of the National Federation of Meat and Food Traders, in the Meat Trades Journal of 3 June 2004, is therefore advising retail butchers never to recover bones from the waste bin for sale, but to clearly identify those bones that are for sale by wrapping them and clearly labelling them "pet food". If the Courts rule that bones are waste, then there is still the possibility that butchers could register with DEFRA and gain an authorisation certificate to supply bones to dogs.
So for the time being it looks as though you can still give the dog a bone!