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Ministry of Health

Meat Inspection

What Is Graduated Licensing?

British Columbia's graduated licensing system offers several different types of licences in order to meet the diverse needs of livestock producers, retailers and consumers across the province, especially those in rural and remote areas.

The following diagram and table compare the various types of licences available under the graduated licensing system. For more information, see Frequently Asked Questions.

Graduated Licensing
Comparison of New and Existing Licences available under the Graduated Licensing System
Licence Type Licensing Status Activities Permitted Sales Permitted Geographic Scope Number of Animal Units** Oversight
Federal Licence Current and continuing Slaughter, and cut and wrap Retail and direct to consumer B.C. and out of province Unlimited Pre- and post-slaughter inspection of each animal
Class A Current and continuing Slaughter, and cut and wrap Retail and direct to consumer B.C. Unlimited Pre- and post-slaughter inspection of each animal
Class B Current and continuing Slaughter only Retail and direct to consumer B.C. Unlimited Pre- and post-slaughter inspection of each animal
Class D New Slaughter only (own animals and other peoples' animals) Retail and direct to consumer Sales restricted within the regional district where meat is produced 1 - 25 Periodic site assessments and audit of operational slaughter records
Class E New Slaughter only (own animals only) Direct to consumer only Sales restricted within the regional district where meat is produced 1 - 10 Periodic site assessments and audit of operational slaughter records
Personal Use No licence required Slaughter only None For producer only Unlimited None

**One animal unit means: combined weight, when measured alive, of 1000 lbs (454 kg) of meat (e.g., beef, poultry, bison, etc.)

For more information on the Class D and E license application process, please see: How Do I Apply for a D or E Licence? You can also contact your regional health authority for more information.