Introduction to slaughtering requirements
If you send animals for slaughter
If you supply animals for slaughter, you must make sure:
- either you or another person in charge completes an animal status declaration (ASD)
- animal welfare is looked after appropriately
- the witholding period has passed for any veterinary medicines
- you declare any use of hormonal growth promotants (HGPs) in the animals.
Animal status declarations (ASDs)
If you send animals for processing, you must make sure that you or another person in charge of the animals completes an animal status declaration (ASD). ASDs provide important information about your animal or group of animals for processors and others taking charge of them, to make sure they are safe and suitable to process.
There are animal welfare standards that must be met during transport and processing of animals that are sent for commercial slaughter.
If you need to slaughter an animal yourself, it's an offence to kill it in a way that causes unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress. Different species have different codes of welfare with requirements for emergency humane slaughter.
- Download the code of welfare for commercial slaughter [PDF, 687 KB]
- Learn about animal welfare requirements
- Find a code of welfare for your animal type
Witholding period for veterinary medicines
If a veterinary medicine has been used in or on your animal, you must wait a minimum amount of time before it is slaughtered for food. This is to make sure the medicine won't pose a health risk to consumers. Veterinary medicines registered for use in or on animals must have the withholding period printed on the label. In some cases default withholding periods are used.
Declare hormonal growth promotant (HGP) use
Use of hormone growth promotants (HGPs) in New Zealand is controlled through the HGP Regulated Control Scheme. If you send animals for slaughter you must declare if HGPs have been used in the animals.
Homekill and recreational catch
If you want to kill and process animals you own or recreational catch, you need to meet certain requirements and must not trade your homekill or recreational catch.