All meat resulting from slaughter under an On-Farm Slaughter Operation (OFSO) licence is uninspected and 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 an individual to conduct on-farm slaughter and processing activities on their property.

This licence allows for the uninspected slaughter and processing of animals purchased by individual customers on the licensee’s land for consumption by the individual customers and their households only. The land under the OFSO licence is defined as land that is owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the OFSO licensee. The OFSO licence requires that animals are humanely and safely slaughtered and that carcasses are stored and processed in a safe and clean manner.

An individual and up to three other individuals (co-owners) may purchase a large animal exceeding 500 pounds (227 kg) such as bison, elk and cattle for slaughter at an OFSO.

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

The meat from animals slaughtered at an OFSO are uninspected, and is not for sale or for further distribution beyond the immediate individual or co-owner’s household(s). The meat is only for the consumption by the persons who form part of the co-owners households. This limits the risk of a foodborne illness outbreak since the uninspected meat cannot be further sold, bartered, gifted or distributed.

This licence also enables an individual to provide a location for others to conduct on-farm slaughter and processing activities such as for 4-H slaughters and for religious celebrations.

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.

This licence requires that slaughter waste be disposed of according 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 also 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, 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.
  • Licence holders are responsible for adequately labelling uninspected meat 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 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.
  • Licence holders transporting and disposing of cattle tissue with specified risk material (SRM) require a permit.
  • Applicants that also hold an Agriculture, Forestry, and Rural Economic Development (AFRED) facility license (mobile butcher or abattoir) for the same plot of land as the OFSO, are required to show that the on-farm license 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.

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) or Interac debit card
  • 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.

Processing your application may take 2 to 4 weeks.

How to apply by mail

  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.

Note: In order for your application to be processed, the form must be complete.

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.

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
Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development
J.G. O’Donoghue Building
7000 113 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T6H 5T6

Do not send cash.

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.

Processing your application may take 2 to 4 weeks.

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, Forestry and Rural Economic Development to monitor designated slaughter limits per producer or customer consumption. Adhering to slaughter limits is the responsibility of the licence holder.

Animal slaughter limits per customer per calendar year:

  • Six (6) large red meat animals (for example: beef, bison, elk, 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 (PDF, 1.3 MB)

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. 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]

For questions about on-line reporting, contact:

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

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