New provisions for non-emergency
slaughter of food animals on producer premises
Process summary for cattle and swine producers
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 can
only 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 cattle and swine producers
The process required under the regulation is designed to help
producers ensure their animals are slaughtered humanely in hygienic
conditions, and that the resulting carcasses are fit to enter a
meat plant. Only bovine under thirty months of age (UTM) and swine
are eligible under these provisions.
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. The examiner also ensures
humane animal handling and sanitary dressing. Producers may conduct
the stunning, slaughter and dressing processes themselves if they
wish, under the supervision of a certified examiner.
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 premise and is consumed only by the producer
and his/her immediate family.
To be able to send their carcass to a provincially licensed meat
plant for processing, producers must follow the steps outlined below
with the help of, and/or under the supervision of a certified on-farm
Prior to slaughter day:
- Contact a certified examiner and determine a slaughter
date and time; provide details about the animal you want slaughtered
and enquire about the examiner's fee;
- Contact a provincially licensed meat plant to make arrangements
for processing; the plant must be approved by an OMAFRA regional
veterinarian to receive carcasses slaughtered on-farm on the selected
On slaughter day, on the producer's premises, upon arrival of
the certified examiner:
- Fill out Part 1 of the Non-Emergency Slaughter
Examination Record, which the examiner will provide;
- Present the live animal to the examiner for examination
(ante mortem examination); the examiner will either approve it
or refuse it for post morem examination; the examiner must, in
specific cases, refer the animal to an OMAFRA regional veterinarian.
If possible, the examiner conducts bovine aging during the ante
- Stun the animal to render it unconscious (mechanical
penetrating device or rifle are the only permitted options); this
can be done by the producer or the certified examiner;
- Slaughter the animal immediately after stunning under
the supervision of the certified examiner, or have the examiner
perform the slaughter;
- Dress the carcass. This includes: removing the head,
respiratory, digestive, reproductive and urinary systems, including
the kidneys and other thoracic and abdominal organs; this can
be done by the producer or the examiner;
- Present the required viscera and the carcass to the examiner
for examination (post-mortem examination). The examiner will perform
an assessment. Based on this assessment, the examiner either :
- determines that the carcass is fit to enter a meat plant
and stamps the carcass with the examination stamp, attaches
a numbered leg band to the carcass and prepares the certificate
to enter a meat plant; or
- refuses to allow the carcass to enter a meat plant and must,
in specific cases, refer the carcass to a regional veterinarian.
The examiner will also conduct bovine aging at this time if this
was not done during ante mortem examination.
Once slaughter, dressing and examination are completed and the
carcass is approved to enter a meat plant:
- Dispose of head, offal and blood on the farm through
one of the legal disposal options that can be used on-farm under
Regulation 263 of the Dead Animal Disposal Act. These are:
- Composting under 60 cm (2 feet) of organic substrate, such
as straw or sawdust; or
- Burying under 60 cm (2 feet) of soil and away from all
- Transport the carcass to the selected, approved meat
plant. Only the producer or the examiner can transport the carcass,
and they must follow the transport requirements. Carcasses or
parts of carcasses must :
- be transported to a provincially licensed meat plant approved
by a regional veterinarian
- have a stamp, leg band and certificate
- be transported in a clean, leak-proof container
- be securely fastened to the container
- be protected from contaminants
- not be exposed to public view, and
- if hide has been removed, be thoroughly washed and wrapped
in a material that is durable, free of contaminants and suitable
for packaging products (for example, plastic food wrap)
A meat plant operator must inspect for contamination upon receipt
of the carcass. Meat plants are permitted to perform the following:
- removal of feet
- minor processing including:
- grinding of beef and pork
- bacon, ham and sausage processing of pork
All products must be returned to the producer within 28 days.
Producers should be aware of the following restrictions:
- 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
- Carcasses can only be transferred to and from a provincially
licensed meat plant.
- All products must be for consumption by the producer and
his or her 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.
- Verify availability with your 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). In 2008, the program
will be available starting September 15.
- Certified examiners are permitted to slaughter or supervise
slaughter of any bovine or porcine animals on the producer's premises
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 of such slaughter must be kept by the examiner and provided
to OMAFRA upon request.
- Producers 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.
- Producers should be aware that, as a result of the examination
process, the carcass may be condemned for food safety reasons.
For additional information, or to obtain a list of certified on-farm
slaughter examiners and a list of approved meat plants, visit OMAFRA's