provisions for non-emergency slaughter of food animals on producer premises
Process summary for certified examiners
Ontario's Meat Regulation (O.
Reg. 31/05 under the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001) has been changed to provide
options for cattle and pig producers who want to slaughter animals on their farm
and have the carcasses processed off the farm. This processing must be conducted
in a provincially licensed slaughter plant or provincially licensed free standing
meat plant. The products can only be consumed by the producers and their immediate
family on the premises where the animal was slaughtered. Products cannot be sold,
shared, donated or distributed.
How it works for certified examiners
The process required under the regulation is designed to help producers ensure
their animals are slaughtered humanely and in hygienic conditions, and that the
resulting carcasses are fit to enter a meat plant thus preventing contamination
of the plant.
An examiner certified for non-emergency, on-farm slaughter
may provide stunning, slaughter and dressing services, and must perform ante mortem
and post mortem examinations and ensure humane animal handling and sanitary dressing.
Producers may also conduct the stunning, slaughter and dressing processes themselves
if they wish, under the supervision of a certified examiner.
still slaughter and process carcasses on farm without the supervision or use of
an examiner as long as the meat does not leave the premises and is consumed only
by the producers and their immediate family.
To become certified to perform
an on-farm slaughter under this new provision
in becoming a certified examiner must:
- Submit an application
- Take the theoretical training
- Pass theoretical training exam
the practical training
- Pass practical exam
examiners should be aware that:
- Certification expires on December
31 every second year and examiners must apply for renewal; update courses may
be required for renewal.
- Examiners must carry out their functions
in accordance with the regulations and will be subject to ongoing oversight by
- Certificates may be suspended or revoked by an OMAFRA
Once certified, examiners are issued an examination
stamp with a unique number. Their name, city of residence and phone number will
be included on OMAFRA's list of certified examiners, which will be posted on the
website. Examiners can then be contacted by producers to perform the required
examinations and either supervise or conduct the slaughter process on-farm.
are responsible for the following:
On slaughter day, on the producer's
- Fill out Parts 2, 3 and 4 of the Non-Emergency
Slaughter Examination Record.
- Examine the animal (ante
mortem examination) and either approve it or refuse it for post
mortem examination; the examiner must, in some specific cases, refer it
to an OMAFRA regional veterinarian and place the animal on hold.
- Follow any instructions received from the regional veterinarian
or veterinary inspector.
- Conduct bovine aging, during
the ante mortem or post mortem examination.
- Stun the
animal to render it unconscious (mechanical penetrating device or rifle are the
only permitted options) or supervise the stunning by the producer. Ensure
this is done in an effective, humane and hygienic manner.
the animal immediately or supervise the slaughter by the producer. Ensure
this is done in a humane and hygienic manner.
or complete bovine aging, if not completed during ante mortem examination.
- Dress the carcass or supervise dressing by the producer.
This includes removing the head, respiratory, digestive, reproductive and urinary
systems, including the kidneys and other thoracic and abdominal organs.
- Examine the dressed carcass (post mortem examination) immediately
after slaughter and dressing. This includes an examination of the whole carcass
and organs, including incision of required lymph nodes. Based on this assessment
- determine that the carcass is fit to enter
a meat plant and:
- stamp the carcass with the examination stamp;
a numbered leg band; and
- prepare a certificate to enter a meat
- Refuse entry of the carcass
into a meat plant and must, under specific situations, refer the carcass
to the regional veterinarian and place the carcass on hold. In this case,
the examiner will not stamp the carcass, attach a leg band or complete the certificate.
Once slaughter, dressing and examination processes are completed
and the carcass is approved to enter a meat plant:
the carcass for transport to the meat plant.
the carcass to the selected, approved meat plant. This can also be done by the
producer. All transport requirements must be followed. Carcasses or parts of carcasses
- be transported to a provincially licensed meat plant approved
by an OMAFRA regional veterinarian to receive on-farm slaughtered carcasses
a stamp, leg bands and certificate
- be transported in a clean, leak-proof
- be securely fastened to container
- be protected from
- not be exposed to public view, and
- if the hide has
been removed, be washed and wrapped in a material that is durable, free of contaminants
and suitable for packaging food products (for example, plastic food wrap).
- Retain a record of slaughter for 12 months and provide the records
to OMAFRA upon request.
should be aware of the following:
- Examiners are not employees of OMAFRA.
They are independent individual members of the public. Producers can become examiners.
Inspectors appointed under the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001 are prohibited
from becoming examiners.
- Certified examiners set their own fees.
- Only bovine animals under 30 months of age (UTM) and porcine animals
are eligible to enter a meat plant under this provision.
on-farm slaughter must be conducted humanely and in hygienic condition
- Farmers may decide that they no longer want to send the carcass of an
animal to a meat plant, and may opt out of the process at any point except:
- from the time the animal is presented for ante mortem to the conclusion of
the ante mortem examination; and
- from the time the carcass is presented
for post mortem to the conclusion of the post mortem examination; and
for the need to comply with any decision or orders that are made in connection
with ante and post mortem examinations, including any orders for condemnation.
- As a result of the examination process, the carcass may have to be condemned
for food safety reasons.
- A farm slaughtered carcass can only
be transported to an approved, provincially licensed meat plant. Products processed
from a farm slaughtered carcass can only be transported back to the producer's
premises where the animal was slaughtered.
- All products must
be for consumption by the producer and their immediate family on the producer's
premise where the animal was slaughtered. OMAFRA will monitor the number of
animals slaughtered per producer and per farm under this provision. Products
cannot be sold, shared or donated.
- Producers are responsible
for verifying the availability of their selected plant, as plants are only allowed
to accept on-farm slaughtered carcasses up to a total of 16 weeks per year: a
maximum of four weeks during the spring period (March 1 to April 30) and a maximum
of 12 weeks during the fall period (September 1 to December 31).
- Certified examiners are permitted to slaughter or supervise slaughter of any
bovine or porcine animal on the producer's premise outside of the specified timeframes,
however, these carcasses are not permitted to enter a meat plant and must stay
on the producer's premises, for the producer's and their immediate family's consumption.
- Records must be kept by examiners and provided to OMAFRA upon
For additional information, or to obtain an application
package for certified examiner training, visit OMAFRA's website.