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 1996 and Meat Industries Regulations 1997.

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's slaughtered.

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

Cattle stations may provide live animals to Aboriginal communities for slaughter and consumption by community members, as has been common practice for some time.

This is legal under the Act where the meat is consumed on the same property where it's slaughtered.

It is an offence to sell or barter this meat to another person.

A further offence occurs if the meat is moved off the property or station.

Roadhouses and community stores

It is an offence to sell home-slaughtered meat through a roadhouse or community store.

All meat used in these operations must be acquired from a licenced processor.

Bed and breakfast operations

If you own a bed and breakfast, it is not an offence to supply home-butchered meat to paying guests.

However, you must inform consumers that the meat hasn't been subject to commercial meat inspection.

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.

You must have a meat industry licence.

Licences last for one year, from 1 July to 30 June.

National standards

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

You must comply with these standards.

Farmed and wild animals

Read the Australian Standard for the Hygienic Production and Transportation of Meat and Meat Products for Human Consumption on the CSIRO website.

This applies to slaughtering and processing cattle, buffalo, pigs, sheep, goats, horses, deer and camels other than wild game for the domestic market.

Crocodiles

Read the Australian Standard for Hygienic Production of Crocodile Meat for Human Consumption on the CSIRO website.

Game meat

Read the Australian Standard for Hygienic Production of Wild Game Meat for Human Consumption on the CSIRO website.

Pet meat

Read the Australian Standard for the hygienic production of pet meat on the CSIRO website.

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. Call 08 8999 2255 or email meatindustry@nt.gov.au.


Last updated: 06 May 2022

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