New provisions for non-emergency slaughter of food animals on producer premises

Process summary for meat plants


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 swine 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 producer and their immediate family on the premises where the animal was slaughtered. Products cannot be sold, shared, donated or distributed.

How it works for Meat Plants
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.

Producers can still slaughter and process carcasses on the 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 producer and his/her immediate family.

Meat plant operators who want to offer processing services to producers who slaughter animals on-farm, or have animals slaughtered on-farm by a certified examiner, must:

  • Be provincially licensed to operate a slaughter plant or a freestanding meat plant under the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001;


  • Develop a written protocol for receiving and processing farm-slaughtered animals;


  • Satisfy regulatory requirements, including separation, sanitation and labelling procedures to prevent cross-contamination of inspected meat products with uninspected products, and to make sure that these carcasses and products do not get confused with inspected carcasses and meat products, at the meat plant and after they leave the meat plant;


  • Receive approval from an OMAFRA regional veterinarian for their written protocol and approval to receive on-farm slaughtered carcasses for processing;


  • Determine the period during which they want to receive on-farm slaughtered carcasses. Plants are only allowed to receive 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);


  • Keep records at the plant of carcasses received.


  • Meat plant operators and staff must ensure the process meets all the requirements under the regulation and that the product is returned to the producer and not sold or distributed to the public.


Prior to allowing on-farm slaughtered carcasses into the meat plant, operators must:

  • Ensure carcasses are stamped with the examination stamp, have leg bands and are accompanied by a certificate to enter a meat plant. An operator can receive a carcass that is delivered without a certificate or examination stamp, but only for the purpose of condemning and disposing of it;


  • Ensure carcasses are free of contamination at receiving.

After receiving the carcass into the plant:

  • Complete Part 5 of the Non-Emergency Slaughter Examination Record, which accompanied the carcass;


  • Record carcasses received. OMAFRA can provide recording sheets upon request;

 

Operator is permitted to:

    • skin and remove the feet from the carcass
    • Cut, wrap, freeze and/or grind meat derived from the carcass
    • process bacon, ham or sausage (from pork only)

Once processing is completed:

  • Label all products derived from on farm slaughtered carcasses with "Producer Owned, Not for Sale" with letters measuring at least 1.25 cm in height;


  • Return all products to the producer within 28 days from carcass receipt at the plant.


  • Retain records of on-farm slaughtered carcasses received and processed for 12 months.

Restrictions

Meat plant operators should be aware of the following restrictions:

  • Only bovine animals under 30 months of age (UTM) and porcine animals are eligible to enter a provincially licensed meat plant under this provision.


  • 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 premises 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.


  • Farm slaughtered carcasses are only permitted entry into meat plants during specified time periods of the year. Plants are only allowed to accept on-farm slaughtered carcasses up to 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).

For additional information, visit OMAFRA's website or refer to contact information below.


For more information:
Toll Free: 1-888-466-2372 ext 6-4230
Local: (519) 826-4230
E-mail: foodinspection@ontario.ca
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 24 April 2008
Last Reviewed: 24 April 2008