Changes to Ontario's Meat Regulation (O. Reg. 31/05) come into effect on July 1, 2019.

The changes support food safety for the public, reduce administrative burden; clarify requirements to provide more business opportunities; and move to more outcome-based requirements.

To assist you in understanding the new requirements, we have enclosed a summary of the changes. To view the revised regulation and updated Meat Plant Guidelines, visit on or after July 1, 2019.

Summary of Changes to Ontario Regulation 31/05

This information is for summary purposes only. For specific details refer to Ontario Regulation 31/05 (Meat).

To reduce administrative burden, the Meat Regulation has been changed to:

  • Remove the prescriptive requirement for a meat plant operator to renew their licence and pay a fee every three years.
  • Permit the voluntary surrender of a licence when an operator no longer performs licensed activities (the former process did not explicitly allow for this).

Other changes clarify regulatory requirements to provide for more business opportunities and reduce burden:

  • In cases where on-farm slaughter is already permitted, allow for someone other than the farmer to slaughter the food animal on the farm for consumption and processing by the farmer or the farmer's immediate family.
  • The time period in which meat plants can receive and process a carcass from an on-farm, non-emergency slaughter has been expanded from 16 weeks to 32 weeks of the year and there is no limit to the number of consecutive weeks in which this could take place.
  • Clearly allow for hunted game products to be further processed at a meat plant, in addition to hunted game carcasses.
  • In emergency slaughter situations for an injured animal, an appointed non-veterinary inspector (e.g. Meat Hygiene Officer) is permitted to perform the post mortem inspection of the carcass at a meat plant, instead of requiring a veterinary inspector.
  • Allow for carcasses from religious or ritual slaughter to be further distributed under certain circumstances and with additional controls in place instead of requiring the carcass be picked up directly by the consumer.

Two specific facility requirements have been removed to allow for more outcome-based regulation:

  • The prescriptive requirement for a water sampling tap and backflow prevention device have been removed allowing for flexibility in achieving the outcome of a safe water supply at the meat plant.

A few other minor changes were made to fix references and errors in the regulation.

For more information:
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