Slaughter licensing

How to get the required licensing to slaughter animals in a meat establishment.
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Certificate of Competence

Anyone carrying out certain slaughter operations must hold a Certificate of Competence, under the Welfare of Animals at the Time of Killing (WATOK) Regulations.

Temporary Certificates of Competence

This will allow you to work under the direct supervision of a full Certificate of Competence holder for the species and operations you are doing.

Evidence of registration must be provided to the Official Veterinarian to allow the ​Temporary Certificate of Competence to be issued.

This certificate is valid for three months from date of issue. You must undertake and successfully pass an assessment from an accreted provider to be awarded a qualification certificate.

This qualification certificate is required for a Certificate of Competence to be issued.

You can apply for a re-issue of the temporary certificate for three months after the previous one has run out if you are unable to complete the assessment. You can do this through the Official Veterinarian in the slaughterhouse.

Appeals in England and Wales

A decision made in England and Wales by us to refuse, suspend or revoke a Certificate of Competence can be appealed.

The appeal system entitles you to make written representations to and be heard by the General Regulatory Chamber First Tier Tribunal.

To do this you need to use the Ministry of Justice form T98 and send it within 28 days of the decision.

The address you will need to send the appeals form is
  • General Regulatory Chamber, HM Courts and Tribunals Service, PO Box 9300, Leicester, LE1 6ZX.


You can apply for a certificate of competence or licence to slaughter or kill animals on GOV.UK

It provides information on the licence or certificate you need to slaughter or kill animals, the operations covered, and how to apply