Farmgate and Farmgate Plus licensing FAQs

On this page:

 

Transitioning from a Class D or E licence to a Farmgate or Farmgate Plus licence

  • All existing Class D and E licences will be automatically converted to a Farmgate Plus licence. If you would rather receive a Farmgate Licence, please email the MIP’s Provincial Coordinator at provincial.coordinator@gov.ca.
  • All existing Class D and E licence holders were contacted regarding their transition licences, which will be sent after October 1, 2021.
  • If you did not receive your licence, please email the MIP’s Provincial Coordinator.

No, there is no cost associated with your transitory Farmgate or Farmgate Plus licence.

No, your transitory licence comes into effect with the new Meat Inspection Regulations on October 1, 2021.

Your new licence expires on the same date as your previous licence.

Yes, once your licence expires you must submit a Farmgate or Farmgate Plus licence application to the MIP.

No, a Feasibility Study is not required for obtaining your transitory Farmgate or Farmgate Plus licence. At licence renewal, a Feasibility Study is required for a Farmgate Plus licence.

  • The MIP continues to accept SlaughterSafe training. However, all Farmgate and Farmgate Plus licence holders are encouraged to update their training and Food Safety Plans with MIP’s SlaughterRight training, which has replaced SlaughterSafe.
  • You will be required to take SlaughterRight when you renew your licence if you have not already taken this updated training.

You must update your Food Safety Plan to reflect any changes in your slaughter process and have those changes approved by the MIP. If you are not making any changes, please continue to follow the previously approved Standard Operating Procedures in your current Food Safety Plan.

Yes, eventually; however, you can continue to use your existing supply of package labels containing your farm name and address, description of contents, and net weight or volume.

Please note that you will also need to include the following information:

  • Farmgate Plus and Farmgate packages must be labelled with your farm’s Premises ID;
  • Farmgate Plus package labels must include “Not Government Inspected”; and
  • Farmgate package labels must include “Not Government Inspected; For sale only in the regional district of [name of regional district in which the farmgate slaughter establishment is located], or at a temporary food market within 50 km of the slaughter establishment. Not for resale”. 
  • Please refer to the Code of Practice for Farmgate and Farmgate Plus Licences – Appendix 4 (PDF 522 KB) for more information and examples of labels.

All existing Class D and E licences are being transitioned. MIP staff will visit your site in the coming months. You may be required to modify your facilities if they do not meet requirements set out in the Code of Practice for Farmgate and Farmgate Plus Licences (PDF 522 KB). MIP staff will work with you to achieve a smooth transition to the new requirements.

If you do not have a recent sample confirming that water used during slaughter is potable, you may be required to obtain a new sample.

 

Applying for a licence

Yes, SlaughterSafe and SlaughterRight training are conditions of licensing. These training programs alone do not allow you to sell carcasses or meat products. You must have a Farmgate or Farmgate Plus licence if you wish to sell your carcasses or meat products produced from a carcass.

No, a Feasibility Study is not required for a Farmgate Licence.

Yes, if you are within 100 km of an existing licensed Abattoir, you will need to submit a Feasibility Study as part of your application.

Instructions on how to apply can be found on the Farmgate and Farmgate Plus page.

No, there is no cost associated with your transitory Farmgate or Farmgate Plus licence.

 

Production volume limits

  • A Farmgate licence allows a licence holder to slaughter 5,000 lbs of animals (live weight) in one compliance year.
  • A Farmgate Plus licence allows a licence holder to slaughter 25,000 lbs of animals (live weight) in one compliance year.

Your compliance year covers a one-year period that begins on the date that your licence was issued and ends 364 days after that date. For transition licences, your compliance year remains the same as under your Class D or E licence.

  • If you need a larger slaughter volume limit, please review the table of slaughter establishment licences that are available and review which licence meets your business needs.
  • You cannot modify your existing licence to increase the allowable volume.

Yes, any animals slaughtered on your premises must be counted towards the annual limit on your licence.

Yes, regardless of whether a producer holds a Farmgate or Farmgate Plus licence, all animals slaughtered on your premises must count towards your licence.

 

Slaughter

Yes, you can hire an experienced slaughter person to provide slaughter services under your Farmgate or Farmgate Plus licence provided this is reflected in your Food Safety Plan, and the slaughter person adheres to your approved Food Safety Plan.

  • A Farmgate Plus licence allows you to “custom” slaughter other producers’ animals. These animals must be counted against your 25,000 lbs limit per compliance year.
  • A Farmgate licence does not allow you to slaughter other producer’s animals.

Yes, you can use a Farmgate Plus or licensed Abattoir to slaughter your animals. These animals do not count against your licence’s production volume limit.

Yes, your slaughter licence only allows you to slaughter on your own premises. You may not go to other premises to perform slaughter under your licence. If you do, that production is under the licence of the establishment at which you are providing slaughter service.

  • No, you cannot provide mobile slaughter services for a producer who does not hold a Farmgate or Farmgate Plus licence.
  • You can provide slaughter services for a producer who holds a Farmgate and Farmgate Plus licence, using that producer’s premises and in compliance with their food safety plan and other conditions of their licence so long as that producer counts those animals towards their licence’s annual limit.
  • Please see the MIP’s SlaughterRight training page to learn more about the MIP’s comprehensive slaughter training program. The completion of this course is mandatory for all new Farmgate and Farmgate Plus licence holders, as well as all existing licence holders who are applying for a new licence or renewing an existing one.
  • SlaughterRight training replaces the previous SlaughterSafe training offered by regional health authorities.

 

Further processing

Yes, any animals slaughtered can be brought to a butcher shop or other food premises that are permitted under the Food Premises Regulations for further processing, cutting, and wrapping.

Yes, all cut-and-wrap and further processing facilities must be approved by your regional health authority. Please contact them to learn more about the requirements.

No, all cut-and-wrap facilities attached to a slaughter licence must be approved by your regional health authority.

 

Labelling

All meat products must be labelled with your farm name and address, description of contents, and net weight or volume, as well as:

  • Farmgate Plus and Farmgate packages must be labelled with your farm’s Premises ID;
  • Farmgate Plus package labels must include “Not Government Inspected”; and
  • Farmgate package labels must include “Not Government Inspected; For sale only in the regional district of [name of regional district in which the farmgate slaughter establishment is located], or at a temporary food market within 50 km of the slaughter establishment. Not for resale”. 

Please refer to the Code of Practice for Farmgate and Farmgate Plus Licences - Appendix 4 (PDF 522 KB) for more information and examples of labels.

No, it must be labelled according to the Meat Inspection Regulation (see above) but another producer can apply their own branding label in addition to the required labelling.

 

Yes, you must comply with the Meat Inspection Regulation labelling requirements. If your product is packaged, the package must be labelled with the ID number of the slaughter establishment and the words, “Not Government Inspected”. For a product or dish that is not packaged, you must advise the purchaser, in writing (e.g., a conspicuous sign, pamphlet or text in a menu), that the product or dish contains meat from a carcass that was not government inspected.

 

Sales

Carcasses or meat products from animals slaughtered under a Farmgate or Farmgate Plus licence can be sold to the public if the product is properly labelled and you have a food premises permit from your regional health authority for retailing meat products.

 

Farmgate licence holders can sell carcasses or meat products made from a carcass slaughtered under their licence, directly to consumers:

  • from a permitted food premises on their farm;
  • at a farmers’ market within their regional district; and
  • at a farmers’ market in an adjacent regional district if that farmers’ market is within 50km of their farm.

Farmgate Plus licence holders can sell carcasses or meat products made from a carcass slaughtered under their licence anywhere in the province.

 

No, carcasses and meat products made from a carcass slaughtered with a provincial Farmgate or Farmgate Plus licence cannot be sold outside of BC.

 

 

I could not sell meat from my slaughter establishment to food premises such as food processors, restaurants and grocery stores before, but I can now with the Farmgate Plus Licence. Are there different requirements? 

To sell to food premises, meat products from Farmgate Plus slaughter establishments must be properly labelled. (Please see the Labelling FAQ section.) Please contact your regional health authority for more information regarding requirements for sales to food premises.

  • Yes, with a Farmgate Plus licence.
  • Farmgate licence sales are for sale only in the regional district in which the Farmgate slaughter establishment is located, or at a farmers’ market within 50 km of the Farmgate slaughter establishment. 

 

Inspections

No, but you must comply with all requirements of your licence, such as your MIP approved food safety and humane slaughter plans during slaughter.

 

You will be contacted by the MIP to schedule an annual inspection and more frequently if necessary

 

Facilities will be inspected at least once per year. Inspection frequency depends on multiple factors, including your compliance history.

 

No, MIP inspection staff will contact you regarding inspection dates.

 

 

Personal consumption

You do not need a licence to slaughter an animal you own, on your own premises, for the purpose of consumption by yourself, your immediate household or immediate family members, or any employees who are employed on the premises where the slaughter occurs, and no part of the animal is sold to or otherwise made available for consumption by the public.

 

No, animals slaughtered for personal consumption do not count towards your production limit.

 

 

Modifying or renewing a licence

Yes, you can contact the MIP’s Provincial Coordinator and include the changes to your licence you would like to make.

 

Yes, please see above. In addition to notifying the MIP Provincial Coordinator, you will need to complete a new Food Safety Plan for each new species, which must be approved before you can slaughter new species.

 

Please contact the MIP Provincial Coordinator to renew your Farmgate or Farmgate Plus licence well in advance of the licence expiry date. You must successfully complete SlaughterRight training and all other requirements in order to renew your licence so give yourself enough time to do this before your licence expires.

 

 

Premises ID

  • Premises ID is an important tool for protecting the health and safety of your livestock. In the event of an emergency, premises ID information improves the Ministry’s ability to rapidly notify animal owners, contain pest and animal disease outbreaks and more effectively respond to natural disasters like floods or fires.
  • Premises ID will be mandatory for all livestock producers in B.C. in 2022.
  • To sell your meat products, your label must include your Premises ID

Visit the Ministry’s Premises ID Website to register at no cost. The whole process only takes a few minutes.

 

 

Other organizations

Yes, there are a number of other agencies involved with lawfully slaughtering animals intended to be sold as meat in British Columbia. Please refer to our Other Organizations and Resources page.