Selling uninspected meat remains illegal in Alberta. All meat resulting from slaughter under an On-Farm Slaughter Operation (OFSO) licence is uninspected and cannot be sold, traded, gifted or bartered. A carcass cannot be shared with another customer nor can an OFSO licence holder sell portions of a carcass.
For more information:
The On-Farm Slaughter Operation Licence (OFSO) enables an individual to conduct on-farm slaughter and processing activities on their property.
This licence will enable a livestock producer to sell a live animal to a customer and the customer can have the animal slaughtered and processed on the farm. The producer or any other individual can slaughter an animal if it is done humanely and safely.
The licensed operator can slaughter and process meat as a part of an uninspected slaughter operation as per section 11(1)(d) of the Meat Inspection Regulation.
This licence also enables an individual to provide a location for others to conduct on-farm slaughter and processing activities such as for 4H slaughters and for religious celebrations.
The On-Farm slaughter operation is to be conducted outside on the licensed plot of land. The slaughter process is not permitted to be conducted in a building.
The meat from the animal is uninspected, not for sale or for further distribution. The meat is only for the consumption of the customer and the customer’s immediate household only. This limits the risk of a foodborne illness outbreak since the meat is for a single household and is not further sold, bartered, gifted or distributed.
- Licence holders are responsible for reviewing and following applicable legislation and other licensing requirements as identified on the application form.
- Licence holders are responsible for adequately labelling product with:
- uninspected – not for sale
- the 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 person to slaughter under their licence. The licence holder shall ensure that the animal(s) are slaughtered humanely and safely. Every carcass must be kept in a safe and sanitary manner and at a temperature that ensures that meat will be 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.
- Applicants that also hold an AF facility licence (mobile butcher or abattoir) for the same plot of land as the On farm Slaughter operation are required to show that that the on-farm licence slaughter premise and activities are separated from the meat facility premise and activities.
- Licence holders are required to submit quarterly reports within 2 weeks of the end of each quarter.
Related legislative requirements
You can apply for an Alberta On-Farm Slaughter Operation Licence if you:
- can lawfully operate a business in Alberta
- are at least 18 years of age
5-year licence fee: $100
Licences are valid 5 years from the date of issue.
How to apply
1. Review licensing requirements outlined in the application
For additional information, review the on-farm slaughter operation technical guide.
2. Fill out application
Trouble opening or completing PDF forms?
Fillable forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save this form:
- Click on the PDF link to save it on your computer.
- Launch Adobe Reader.
- Open the PDF from within Adobe Reader. You can now fill and save your form.
Download the PDF fillable application form to your computer, or print the application, then fill in the requested information:
- Application for an On-Farm Slaughter Operation Licence (PDF, 2.6 MB)
Note: In order for your application to be processed, the form must be complete.
3. Send in application and payment
Email your completed application form by clicking on the 'Submit by Email' button at the bottom of the form.
Pay the fee
When applying online, you can use your credit card with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry's online payment system:
When filling out the payment form, enter the following:
- Under 'Program area', select: 'Agriculture General'
- Under 'Service you are paying for', enter: 'On-Farm Slaughter Operation Licence'
Submit application and fee
If not applying online, you can mail in your application form and your cheque or money order.
Cheques or money orders should be payable to the Government of Alberta and mailed with your application form to the address below:
Meat and Dairy Inspection Section
Agriculture and Forestry
Suite 108, J.G. O’Donoghue Building
7000 113 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T6H 5T6
Do not send cash.
4. After you apply
After your application has been reviewed and processed, your licence will be sent to you by email or post.
Processing your application may take 2 to 4 weeks.
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
Quarterly reporting enables Agriculture and Forestry to monitor designated slaughter limits per producer or customer consumption. Adhering to slaughter limits is the responsibility of the licence holder.
Download and fill out: On Farm Slaughter Operation Reporting Form (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Animal slaughter limits per customer per calendar year:
- 6 large red meat animals, for example: beef, bison, elk, yak, ostrich
- 12 hogs
- 12 sheep
- 12 goats
- 150 poultry or other small animals, for example: quail, rabbit
Send your completed PDF report form by clicking on the 'Submit by Email' button at the bottom of the form.
If you are not sending your report forms by email, mail your printed reports to the mailing address that appears above on this page.
Connect with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry:
Email: [email protected]