Slaughtering, processing and sale of meat in the Northern Territory

The slaughtering, processing and sale of meat for human consumption is regulated under the Northern Territory Meat Industries Act 2011 and associated Regulations.

The slaughtering of animals for human consumption has been a common practice on stations over many years, providing meat for owners, managers, employees and guests. It is not an offence to slaughter an animal on your property for consumption by your family and staff, provided it is consumed on the property on which it was slaughtered. The meat must not be sold, bartered, or given away.

The meat may be provided to paying guests in facilities where supplying meat is not the primary source of income e.g.  Bed and Breakfast facilities. Any paying guests must be informed and non-paying guests should be advised that the meat has not undergone an Ante Mortem or Post Mortem inspection by a qualified meat inspector.

The sale of station slaughtered meat in a roadhouse or community store situation is considered to be an offence, and is not permitted. All meat used in these operations must be sourced from a licenced processor. The use of station meat houses to process meat for sale is not permitted unless licenced by Department of Primary Industry and Resources.

It has been common practice over many years for stations to supply meat to Aboriginal communities located on cattle stations and this practice is legal and may continue provided the meat does not leave the property of slaughter, is not on-sold, or given to others. This means that where an animal is slaughtered on a station for a local community, the carcass cannot be dressed by community members and removed from the property. If the animal was removed from the property live and transported to the community for slaughter, Northern Territory Waybill and National Livestock Identification System regulations would apply.

The supply of meat donated by a company or station to a community event such as a rodeo or campdraft is acceptable, provided that the meat is consumed on the station on which it is slaughtered and not on-sold at the event. If there is an abattoir located near the station it may be beneficial to slaughter the animal through the abattoir as the standard of meat preparation meets the Australian hygienic meat standards. The station or event co-ordinator should be able to negotiate a service kill in this situation.

All meat sold to the general public for human consumption must be processed in a registered establishment that has been issued with a stamp that has an Establishment Number. Meat must be inspected by a qualified meat inspector with a minimum Certificate III in Meat Safety.

Further information and advice concerning slaughtering and processing may be obtained from the DPIR:

David Frost
Senior Meat Industry Officer
Telephone: 89992255
Mobile 0401113090

Last updated: 18 December 2017