Animal material depots holding meat and game

Find out the food safety requirements for animal material depots holding meat and game.

What animal material depots do

Animal material depots hold animal material (such as carcasses) from wild and game estate animals, and from farmed animals that have gone feral. These depots only hold the material for a limited time, before it goes to a primary meat processor such as an abattoir.

Animal material depot operators can't process any animal material but they can:

  • hold
  • chill
  • refrigerate
  • apply protective coverings.

Requirements for animal material depots holding meat and game

If your depot holds animal material intended for human consumption, there are food safety requirements you must meet. These are listed in Parts 12, 16, and 17 of the Animal Products Notice: Specifications for Products Intended for Human Consumption [PDF, 1.3 MB]

Getting verified and listing with MPI

Before you can operate an animal material depot, you must:

  • be verified by a recognised agency, and
  • apply to be listed with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

Get verified

Verification must be done by an agency recognised by MPI. The person who carries this out (the verifier) will check that your depot meets the requirements.

Find a recognised verification agency

Apply to be listed as an animal material depot

Once you have your report from the verifier, use form AP19 to apply to be listed as an animal material depot, or to renew your listing.

You'll need to:

  • send your initial verification report with the completed form
  • pay the listing fee shown on the form.

Application form AP19 – Animal material depot listing [PDF, 2.7 MB]

If your application is accepted, your name, depot type, and contact details will be added to our public list.

Public list of animal material depots

You need to apply to be re-listed every 2 years.

Ongoing verification

Once your animal material depot is listed with MPI, you must be verified again on a regular basis, by a recognised agency.

Schedules 1 and 2 of the operational code tell you how often this needs to happen.

Operational Code: Verification [PDF, 508 KB]

Export requirements

If your depot holds animal material that will be exported after processing, there are additional requirements you must meet.

Learn about exporting meat

Who to contact

If you have questions about animal material depots, email

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