Domestic abattoirs and meat processing

There are rules you must follow if you want to slaughter animals for human consumption in the Northern Territory (NT).

The rules ensure meat sold for human consumption is wholesome and is prepared, stored and distributed hygienically.

Animal slaughter is controlled by the Meat Industries Act and regulations.

Read the law.  Read the regulations.

Private slaughter

You are allowed to slaughter an animal on your property to feed your family and staff as long as it is consumed on the property where it is slaughtered.

This is a common practice in the Northern Territory (NT) on large cattle stations to feed employees, and on small blocks in rural areas.

You cannot sell home-killed meat, nor can you barter it to someone else.  You are also breaking the law if you move uninspected home-killed meat off the property where it was slaughtered.

Read the Agnote below for more information.

Slaughter for public consumption

If you want to slaughter animals to sell meat to the public, it has to be done at a registered premise and be inspected by a meat inspector.  

For more information read: 

Slaughtering Animals for Human Consumption in the Northern Territory (69.7 kb)
Slaughtering Animals for Human Consumption in the Northern Territory (213.4 kb)

National standards

The NT has adopted national standards for slaughtering the following animals, processing and transporting the meat.

Farmed and wild animals

You must comply with the following standard for slaughtering and processing cattle, buffalo, pigs, sheep, goats, horses, deer and camels – other than wild game – for the domestic market.

Go to the CSIRO website to read Australian Standard for the Hygienic Production and Transportation of Meat and Meat Products for Human Consumption.  

Crocodiles

You must comply with the following standard for slaughtering crocodiles for the domestic market.
Go to the CSIRO website to read Australian Standard for Hygienic Production of Crocodile Meat for Human Consumption.

Game

You must comply with the following standard for the slaughter of game animals for the production of game meat.

Go to the CSIRO website to read  Australian Standard for Hygienic Production of Wild  Game Meat for Human Consumption.

Pet meat

The slaughter and processing of animals to produce pet meat must comply with national standards.

Go to the CSIRO website to read Australian standard for the hygienic production of pet meat.

Getting a domestic abattoir or meat processing licence

An abattoir or meat processing or associated licence lasts for one year - from 1 July to 30 June.

You can only apply for an abattoir or meat processing licence by contacting the following person:

David Frost
Senior Meat Industries Officer
Biosecurity & Animal Welfare
Department of Primary Industry and Resources 
Phone: (08) 8999 2255
Fax: (08) 8999 2146
david.frost@nt.gov.au

Renew a licence

Before you renew a licence, contact the senior meat industries officer, whose details are above.

To renew your licence, fill in one of the following applications and send it to the senior meat industries officer by mail or email.

Application for renewal of licence - meat for human consumption (52.3 kb)
Application for renewal of licence - meat for human consumption  (33.4 kb)

Application for renewal of licence - meat not for human consumption (52.5 kb)
Application for renewal of licence - meat not for human consumption (37.7 kb)

Application for renewal of licence - meat transport vehicle (60.2 kb)
Application for renewal of licence - meat transport vehicle (45.2 kb)

Owner’s permission to operate – pet meat (67.9 kb)
Owner’s permission to operate – pet meat (106.5 kb)

Slaughtering meat not for human consumption

If you want to slaughter animals to produce meat that will not be used for human consumption, you must talk to the Senior Meat Industries Officer.

Last updated: 13 October 2017