Meat inspection and licensing

Meat Production Modernization

On September 14, 2020, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (Ministry) released a Rural Slaughter Modernization Intentions Paper (Paper) for public comment. The consultation period closed on November 16, 2020. 88 submissions were received.

The Paper feedback supports modernization of meat production and highlights potential for further improvement to meat inspection and overall administration. Support for modernization and increasing access to local meat was high.

To learn more about the changes being proposed, read the Meat Production Modernization: Next Steps factsheet (PDF, 70 KB).

To review the feedback, read the Modernizing Rural Meat Production in B.C. What We Heard report (PDF, 1.2 MB).

Slaughter establishments in B.C. are either federally registered by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency or are provincially licensed. Slaughter establishments that are provincially licensed are only permitted to sell their product within B.C.  Federally registered establishments are permitted to export their product outside the province.

Meat production and processing

We’re ensuring that meat produced in B.C. is safe for consumers, while providing enough slaughter and meat processing facilities for the entire province. The Meat Inspection Regulation ensures that:

  • Animals are humanely handled and slaughtered,
  • Carcasses are processed in a clean environment, and
  • Meat is packaged and stored in ways that reduce contamination risks.

Provincial slaughter licences

Licences available under the Graduated Licensing System

Licence Type

Activities Permitted

Sales Permitted

Geographic Scope

# of Animal Units

Oversight

Class A

Slaughter, and cut and wrap

Retail and direct to consumer

B.C.

Unlimited

Pre and post slaughter inspection of each animal

Class B

Slaughter only

Retail and direct to consumer

B.C.

Unlimited

Pre and post slaughter inspection of each animal

Class D

Slaughter only (own animals and other peoples' animals)

Retail and direct to consumer

Sales restricted within the regional district where meat is produced

1 - 25

Periodic site assessments and audit of operational slaughter records

Class E

Slaughter only (own animals only)

Direct to consumer only

Sales restricted within the regional district where meat is produced

1 - 10

Periodic site assessments and audit of operational slaughter records

Personal use

No licence required

Slaughter only

None

For producer only

Unlimited

None

* Note: "animal unit" means a combined animal weight, when measured alive, of 455 kg (1,000 lbs)