Primary meat processing

If you’re a primary processor of meat products for consumption in New Zealand, you need to comply with the Animal Products Act (APA) regime. Learn more about the requirements that apply to you.


Defining primary meat processors

For meat products, you are considered to be a primary processor if you do one of the following:

  • slaughter and dress mammals or birds
  • remove, extract, or harvest animal material from live mammals or birds for the purpose of human or animal consumption.

Note: If you are a hunter, or if you process poultry or pet food, you are not considered to be a primary meat processor. Find out more:

Complying with the Animal Products Act

The APA regime for primary meat processing includes the APA 1999 and the relevant regulations, specifications, and notices made under the Act.

Some requirements relate to a wide range of animal products. These include fees, charges, and levies under the APA and under monitoring and surveillance programmes. Find out more about these requirements:

Operating under a risk management programme (RMP)

As part of the APA regime, primary meat processors need to operate under an RMP. You can find guidance to help you meet the requirements in the Meat manuals, but you need to refer to the APA legislation to confirm the requirements.

Find all the general information you need to know about Risk Management Programmes:

Operating under the Food Act

The Food Act 2014 came into force on 1 March 2016. The Act applies to all new food businesses that started from that date.

Existing businesses (registered under the Food Act 1981 or Food Hygiene Regulations 1974 before 29 February 2016) are making the transition between 2016 and 2019. Find out when your type of business has to start operating under the Act.

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