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.

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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.

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 (92.3 kb)
Slaughtering Animals for Human Consumption in the Northern Territory (239.0 kb)

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.

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

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

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: 08 March 2019

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