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On farm slaughter facility authorisation

How to apply for authorisation to carry out on farm slaughter of farmed game and poultry
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The following information outlines the requirements for on farm facility authorisation for the slaughter of:

  • farmed game (including deer, bison, farmed wild boar, farmed ratites)
  • poultry reared for the production of foie gras (geese and ducks)
  • poultry subjected to delayed evisceration.
The information on this page relates to on farm slaughter and not emergency slaughter of domestic ungulates outside slaughterhouses. For emergency slaughter the ante mortem inspection can be carried out by a private veterinarian.  Emergency slaughter does not include fractious bovines.

On farm slaughter of game and poultry 

A number of requirements have to be met before farmed game, poultry reared for the production of foie gras and poultry subjected to delayed evisceration can be slaughtered at the farm of origin.

In order to do so, business operators must:

  • have an on-farm facility authorisation,
  • meet requirements for animal welfare,
  • require a veterinarian appointed by the FSA to carry out ante mortem inspection, and
  • have a person available with a Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (WATOK) licence to carry out the slaughter and bleeding of the animals

On farm facility authorisation

On farm slaughter facilities require veterinary controls to be carried out, and these facilities must be authorised by the FSA before any slaughter can be undertaken.

Under the food hygiene legislation that came into effect on 1 January 2006, on farm slaughter facilities require authorisation by the competent authority, to which both Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 and Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 apply.

In order for your establishment to be suitable for authorisation there are several pieces of legislation that need to be taken into account.

Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 covers the generic requirements in terms of hygiene of foodstuffs applicable to any food producing establishment. Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 lays down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin. The specific elements relevant to on farm slaughter authorisation and their requirements are described under Regulation (EC) No 853/2004, Annex III, Section II, Chapter VI and Regulation (EC) No 853/2004, Annex III, Section III.

If you require an authorisation for an on-farm slaughter facility, please contact approvals team on approvals@food.gov

Requirements for animals

Animals that can be considered for on farm slaughter authorisation must have been bred and reared on the farm/estate and applies only to the following species: deer, bison, farmed wild boar, farmed ratites, poultry reared for the production of foie gras (geese and ducks) and poultry subjected to delayed evisceration.

Animals intended for slaughter at the farm must undergo a veterinary ante-mortem inspection prior to being slaughtered and must be consigned after slaughter, with the appropriate certificate, to a suitably approved slaughterhouse or game handling establishment for dressing for post-mortem inspection.

An Official Veterinarian (OV), appointed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) under Regulation 625/2019, must undertake official controls to verify compliance with the hygiene, animal health and animal welfare Regulations at this establishment. Responsibility for complying with the Regulations rests with you as the food business operator. This includes informing the OV in advance of the date and time of slaughter of animals so that they may attend in order to carry out their functions, including ante mortem checks.

Appointment for veterinarians

You can find out more information about the role and how to apply for veterinary appointment.

Veterinary appointments and on farm authorisations are not chargeable to food business operators. Should you wish further information on the appointment of an OV please contact the FSA Approvals and Registration Team at Approvals@food.gov.uk

Certificate of Competence to slaughter

It is a legal requirement for any person slaughtering animals for human consumption at an authorised on-farm slaughter facility to have a Certificate of Competence.

For more information and how to apply for a Certificate of Competence visit the GOV.UK page:

Should you require any further information regarding Certificates of Competence please contact the WATOK Team at WATOK@food.gov.uk

Contact details

Should you have any questions regarding an application for on farm slaughter authorisation or the appointment of veterinarians, please contact the FSA Approvals and Registration Team at Approvals@food.gov.uk