Livestock Slaughter and Processing in Alberta

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 For more information on the Meat Inspection Act and the Meat Inspection Regulation
The 4-H Beef and Sheep project animals are being well fed and cared for by over 1900 4-H members this year. Starting in April, 4-H Clubs and Districts will be having their beef and sheep achievement days and sales. In order to follow all provincial and federal guidelines for livestock processing, clubs and district sales committees are reminded of the following:

In Alberta, meat inspection is conducted in licensed Provincial abattoirs by inspectors from the Food Safety Branch of the Food Safety and Technology Division of Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF). The 4-H Section provides the sales catalogue to the Meat Inspection Section to assist them in planning their work schedules. Please make sure you send your sales dates in as soon as possible.

In Alberta, Individuals have the following options for slaughtering their animals:

Option 1 – Using a provincially licensed and Inspected Abattoir
Most 4-H market project animals are shipped to licensed abattoirs for government inspected slaughter. Sales committee members should ensure the local abattoirs are aware of the sale dates. It is the responsibility of the purchaser to arrange an appropriate date for the slaughter of the 4-H animal with the abattoir. The purchaser is also responsible for informing the abattoir what cutting, wrapping, processing, pick-up and/or sale of the meat is required.

Inspected carcasses or meat can also be delivered to provincially licensed mobile butcher facilities or facilities permitted by Alberta Health Services (AHS) for cutting, wrapping and further processing.

All carcasses and meat should be transported in a food safe manner.

Option 2 – Using a Federally Registered Abattoir
The process is similar to option 1

Option 3 – Using a Provincially Licensed Mobile Butcher / Provincially Licensed Mobile Butcher Facility (PLMBF)
This option has very specific requirements regarding ownership of the animal. Please be aware and inform potential buyers who intend to use a licensed mobile butcher and/or a PLMBF of the following requirements from the Meat Inspection Act and the Meat Inspection Regulation:

"Producer" means, in relation to an animal, an individual who directly or indirectly owns the animal.

The animal must be slaughtered and eviscerated on the producer’s land. The producer is identified as the buyer of the project animal – not the member who has raised, fed, shown and offered the animal for sale. If a buyer requests that a mobile butcher process the animal, he must be identified by the meat inspection regulations as a producer as defined above. The animal cannot be mobile slaughtered until the requirements of "producer" are met.

The carcass can be transported from the owner’s land to the mobile butcher’s cutting and wrapping facilities provided the mobile butcher’s cutting operation is licensed by AF or permitted by AHS.

The meat must be identified as “Uninspected – Not for Sale”

The meat can only be consumed by the owner of the animal or members of the owner’s immediate “household” as defined in the Meat Inspection Regulation.

Arrangements can sometimes be made by the producer (as defined above) and a local licensed and inspected abattoir to have the animal slaughtered and inspected, then released to the mobile butcher to complete the processing of the carcass at a PLMBF or a facility permitted by AHS.

The meat, as such, has been inspected and is now eligible for sale.

Provincially Licensed Mobile Butcher / Provincially Licensed Mobile Butcher Facility (PLMBF) are eligible for an exemption to slaughter 4-H animals. The mobile butcher must submit a letter of request to the Director of Meat Inspection Section ( with the number of animals that are to be slaughtered (maximum 12) and must include letters of support from the 4-H clubs that the mobile butcher is slaughtering for.

The meat must be identified as “Uninspected – Not for Sale”

Option 4 - The member can purchase the animal back and slaughter and process the animal themselves
It is important to note that:

The uninspected meat can only be consumed by the owner or members of the owner’s immediate household.

Please remember that the Meat Inspection Legislation is in place to protect our beef and sheep industries and our consumers. The Alberta Meat Inspection Act and Regulation:
  • ensure a safe, wholesome meat supply for all Alberta citizens
  • require that all meat and meat products intended for sale be inspected in accordance with the Alberta Meat inspection Act and Regulations or the Canada Meat inspection Act and Regulations
  • Clearly state that it is an offense to sell or offer for sale, any meat or meat products, which have not been inspected in a provincially licensed abattoir or a federally registered establishment

If your sales committee has any questions or concerns please call the regional supervisor in your area at the following numbers:
Toll free – dial 310-000 then for
Vermilion (and some East Central) – 780-853-8113
Edmonton (and Peace) 780-427-7011
Airdrie (West and East Central and Calgary) – 403-948-8515
Lethbridge (South of Calgary and Southern) – 403-382-4261
Head office 780-422-210

Other Documents in the Series

  Agriculture and Environment
Beef Project Description
4-H Steer Feeding Guidelines Based on Hip Height Measurements
4-H Feeding Terms and FCE feed cost calculations
Livestock Slaughter and Processing in Alberta - Current Document
4-H Project Prohibited Feed Affidavit
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For more information about the content of this document, contact Alexia Hoy.
This document is maintained by Corinne Wegner.
This information published to the web on June 2, 2006.
Last Reviewed/Revised on April 6, 2018.