On-Farm Slaughter Operation Licence

Albertans can apply for a licence to operate as an On-Farm Slaughter Operation under the Meat Inspection Act and Meat Inspection Regulation.

Explore pages in:
Slaughter operation licences

All meat resulting from slaughter under an On-Farm Slaughter Operation (OFSO) licence is uninspected. It must be returned to the owner(s) of the animal for consumption by their household(s) only and cannot be sold gifted, bartered or otherwise transferred. Selling uninspected meat remains illegal in Alberta.

For more information:

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 403-422-0406

Overview

An uninspected slaughter operation, licensed as an On-Farm Slaughter Operation (OFSO), enables the OFSO licence holder to conduct uninspected slaughter and carcass processing activities on their property.

The OFSO licence requires that:

  • The customer of the OFSO owns the animal being slaughtered.
    • Ownership can be transferred by the OFSO to the individual(s) purchasing the live animal.  This can occur by the OFSO selling the live animal(s) to an individual(s) prior to slaughter.
    • Alternatively, an OFSO customer can bring their own animal(s) or an animal sourced elsewhere (for example, 4-H, feedlot, auction, livestock producer etc.) to an OFSO for slaughter and carcass processing services.
    • Note: this licence also enables the licensee to provide a location for others to conduct on-farm slaughter and carcass processing activities for animal(s) owned by an individual (for example, religious celebrations, etc.).
  • The animal(s) are to be humanely and safely slaughtered.
  • The OFSO store and process the uninspected carcass(es) in a safe manner.
  • The uninspected carcass or processed meat be returned to the owner(s) of the animal.

Large animals exceeding 500 pounds (227 kg) (for example, bison, cervid and cattle) slaughtered at an OFSO may be co-owned by up to four individuals and the meat shared with their households.

Small live animals under 500 pounds (227 kg) may only be sold to an individual for consumption by their household only. Two or more people cannot buy a small animal and split the meat.

The meat from animals slaughtered at an OFSO is uninspected and is not for sale or for further distribution. The meat is to be returned to the animal owner(s), for  consumption by persons who form part of the owner’s household (including spouse, children, siblings, parents and if applicable, current employees living on the property of the animal owner). This limits the risk of a foodborne illness outbreak since the uninspected meat cannot be sold, bartered, gifted, or distributed beyond the animal owner(s) household.

The licensee is responsible for ensuring that those using the land and providing the slaughter services are competent and follow all legislative requirements.

This licence requires that slaughter waste be disposed of according to the requirements for meat facilities in the Disposal of Dead Animals Regulation including the additional options of disposal by on-farm burial, composting, or burning. Uninspected slaughter operations are allowed to gift or sell uninspected slaughter waste consisting of butcher scraps and by-products for use as bait in hunting or trapping.

For additional information, please refer to the Meat Inspection Regulation and review the On-Farm Slaughter Operation Technical Guide.

Licensee responsibilities

  • Licence holders are responsible for reviewing and following applicable legislation and other licensing requirements as identified on the application form.
  • Slaughter at an OFSO is to be conducted outside on the licensed plot of land. The slaughter process is not permitted to be conducted in a building.
  • Licence holders are responsible for adequately labelling the uninspected meat provided to the animal owner(s) with:
    • Uninspected – Not for sale
    • The name of the slaughter operation
    • The slaughter date (including day, month and year)
  • Licence holders are responsible for adequately labelling uninspected slaughter waste used for bait with:
    • Uninspected – For use as bait, only
    • Name of the slaughter operation
    • The slaughter date (including day, month and year)
  • Licence holders are responsible for providing potable water.
  • Licence holders may choose to slaughter under their licence or may authorize any competent person to slaughter under their licence (with the exception of the slaughter of cervids as per the Livestock Industry Diversification Act). The licence holder shall ensure that the animal(s) are slaughtered humanely and safely. Carcasses must be kept in a safe and sanitary manner and at a temperature that ensures that meat is free of spoilage and contamination.
  • Zoning restrictions limit slaughter in some areas such as a county and/or a municipality. The licence holder is responsible for ensuring compliance with bylaws in their county or municipality.
  • Licence holders transporting and disposing of cattle tissue with specified risk material (SRM) require a permit.
  • Applicants that also hold an Alberta government inspected facility licence (mobile butcher facility or abattoir) for the same plot of land as the OFSO, are required to show that the on-farm licence slaughter premise and activities are separated from the inspected meat facility premise and activities.
  • Licence holders are required to submit quarterly reports within 2 weeks of the end of each quarter.

Eligibility

You can apply for an Alberta OFSO Licence if you:

  • can lawfully operate a business in Alberta
  • are at least 18 years of age

Cost

5-year licence fee: $100

Licences are valid 5 years from the date of issue.

How to apply online

To apply for and purchase an OFSO licence online, you will need:

  • a valid credit card (Visa, Mastercard or American Express)
  • an email address (to receive updates and information about Alberta regulations)

1. Review licensing requirements and responsibilities outlined in the application

2. Complete application and submit payment

On-Farm Slaughter Operation application

3. After your application has been reviewed and processed, your licence will be sent to you by email or mail.

How to apply by mail

Submit application and fee

  1. Review licensing requirements and responsibilities outlined in the application.
     
  2. Download the PDF fillable application form to your computer or print the application, then fill in the requested information. 
  3. Cheques or money orders should be payable to the Government of Alberta and mailed with your application form to the address below:

    Attention: Licensing
    Meat and Dairy Inspection Section
    J.G. O’Donoghue Building
    7000 113 Street
    Edmonton, Alberta  T6H 5T6
    Do not send cash.

How to apply by email

Submit application and fee

  1. Review licensing requirements and responsibilities outlined in the application.
     
  2. Download the PDF fillable application form to your computer or print the application, then fill in the requested information.
  3. Submit payment by cheque/money order or credit card. Cheques or money orders should be payable to the Government of Alberta and mailed with your application form to the address below:

    Attention: Licensing
    Meat and Dairy Inspection Section
    J.G. O’Donoghue Building
    7000 113 Street
    Edmonton, Alberta  T6H 5T6
    Do not send cash.

    Payment by credit card is through https://www.agric.gov.ab.ca/ardpay.
    Under Program area, select: 'Agriculture General'.
    Under Service you are paying for, select 'on-farm slaughter operation licence'.
     
  4. Email your saved PDF application form to [email protected] and use the Subject 'Licencing'.

Note: Application fees are non-refundable.

PDF form issues

Fillable PDF forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save the form:

  1. Save the PDF form to your computer – click or right-click the link and download the form.
  2. Open the PDF form with Adobe Reader. Fill it in and save it.

If you are still having problems opening the form, contact PDF form technical support.

Licensed slaughter operation directory

This searchable directory helps customers find provincially licensed slaughter operations or meat facilities located across Alberta. Your business information will be included in the directory. To opt out of the directory, contact us at [email protected].

After you apply

After your application has been reviewed and processed, your licence will be sent to you by email or post.

Reporting requirements

Reporting schedule

On-Farm Slaughter Operation Licence holders must submit a report within 2 weeks of the end of each of these quarters:

  • Quarter 1: January to March
  • Quarter 2: April to June
  • Quarter 3: July to September
  • Quarter 4: October to December

Note: Quarterly reporting enables Agriculture and Irrigation to monitor designated slaughter limits per animal owner(s) (i.e., customer consumption). Adhering to slaughter limits is the responsibility of the OFSO licence holder.

There are no animal slaughter limits for the OFSO licensee; however, there are animal slaughter limits for each OFSO customer, per calendar year, as follows:

  • Six (6) large red meat animals (for example: beef, bison, cervid, yak, ostrich) and
  • Twelve (12) hogs and
  • Twelve (12) sheep and
  • Twelve (12) goat and
  • 150 poultry or other small animals (for example: quail, rabbit)

By Mail/Email

Download and fill out: On-Farm Slaughter Operation Reporting Form.

Submit report

Email

Send your completed PDF report form by clicking on the “Submit by Email” button at the bottom of the form.

Mail

If you are not sending your report forms by email, mail your printed reports to the mailing address that appears above on this page.

Online reporting

If you are interested in submitting your on-farm slaughter operation reports online, watch the following tutorial: Opinio On-farm slaughter operation data entry.

To send us a request to use this tool, fill out this online form: Online Slaughter Report Request. Meat and Dairy Inspection Section (MDIS) will send you the link and password for the report and instructions to complete it.

Online reporting must be done while connected to the internet.

Resources

Contact

For questions about the OFSO Licence, contact: [email protected] or by phone at 403-422-0406.

For questions about on-line reporting, contact:

Bill Liu
Phone: 780-644-8854
Cell: 780-863-6849
Email: [email protected]