Improved training supports local meat supply in rural communities

An updated, mandatory training program for rural abattoir operators in B.C. will help more British Columbians enjoy safe, locally raised beef, pork and poultry, as well as contribute to food security and support businesses in rural communities.

The updated program, called SlaughterRight, offers self-paced and self-guided training for small, rural (Class D and E) licensed abattoirs. The program focuses on improved food safety, slaughter hygiene, facility and equipment design and sanitation, animal welfare, meat storage and record-keeping requirements.

In addition to more thorough training, the program includes the compulsory development of food safety and humane slaughter plans, as well as a set of standard operating procedures specific to each abattoir. The course must be completed as a condition of all new and renewed Class D and E licences. Licensees will be subject to on-farm inspections by ministry inspectors to ensure all food safety and other operational requirements are met.

Class D and E licences support local livestock and meat production in B.C. communities where existing slaughter capacity is limited. The SlaughterRight program is a more comprehensive training program than previous versions. The program was developed following detailed consultation with B.C. ranchers, abattoir operators, local governments and other stakeholders to improve and increase rural slaughter capacity and is part of a larger effort to improve rural food supply and food security in British Columbia.

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