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Ministry of Health

Meat Inspection

Frequently Asked Questions

Why have the new Class D and E licences been introduced?

The Ministry of Health has heard from farmers in rural and remote areas that they are unable to access existing licensed facilities for the slaughter of their livestock. Because of the limited number of animals in these areas, this is unlikely to change in the future. The new Class D and E licences are intended to support continued livestock production in rural and remote areas without compromising food safety.

View the list of Class D and E licence holders (PDF 107K).

What is the difference between Class D and E licences?

A Class D licence allows for the slaughter of up to 25 animal units per year (an animal unit is 1,000 lbs or 454 kg). The meat can be sold to restaurants and retail outlets in the regional district where the meat was produced, as well as directly to local consumers at the farm gate. A Class D licence holder is allowed to slaughter their own and other peoples' animals.

A Class E licence allows for the slaughter of up to 10 animal units per year, and the meat can only be sold directly to local customers from the farm. A Class E licence holder is only allowed to slaughter their own animals.

What are the differences between all the licence classes?

See Graduated Licensing Table

If I have a Class A or B licence, can I give it up and get a D or E?

If your farm is located in one of the 10 designated rural and remote areas, you may apply for a Class D or E licence and give up your Class A or B licence. You should be aware of the limits that apply to Class D and E licences with regard to the number of animals that can be slaughtered and other sales restrictions.

If you are located in a nondesignated regional district, you are only eligible to apply for a Class E licence. Licence applications in nondesignated areas will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will be issued based on a proven need for additional slaughter capacity in the area. Applicants will be required to submit a Class E feasibility study to demonstrate why they are unable to use existing licensed facilities.

What licence options are available to me in different parts of the province?

See Designated Areas Map

How can I apply for a Class D or E licence?

See How Do I Apply for a Class D or E Licence?

Where can I find lists of provincially licensed slaughter operations?

See Licensed Slaughter Operations in B.C, or go directly to the lists:

For more information, please contact your regional health authority.