Statutory Requirements

Possession of a slaughter man’s licence is a statutory requirement for the routine cull of livestock ‘in the course or furtherance of a business’. One exception is the emergency killing of an animal in distress. In clarification, please read the relevant section of the act below.

Schedule 1 – The Licensing of Slaughtermen

Scope of this Schedule

1. The requirements of this Schedule shall not apply to any person who:-

  1. for emergency reasons relating to the welfare of any animal has to slaughter or kill that animal immediately;
  2. slaughters or kills any animal elsewhere than in a slaughterhouse or knacker’s yard, provided that he is the owner of the animal and the slaughter or killing is for his private consumption;
  3. slaughters or kills any animal other than for a commercial purpose;
  4. kills by means of a free bullet any animal in the field;
  5. kills a bird by means of dislocation of the neck or decapitation on premises forming part of an agricultural holding on which the bird was reared;
  6. kills any animal for the purpose of disease control in accordance with Schedule 9;
  7. kills any fox or mink in accordance with Schedule 10;
  8. kills surplus chicks or embryos in hatchery waste in accordance with Schedule 11;
  9. operates any automatic equipment used to stun, slaughter or kill any animal without performing any of the operations specified in paragraph 3 below;
  10. shackles birds before stunning or killing; or
  11. is a veterinary surgeon acting in the exercise of his profession or a person acting under the direction of a veterinary surgeon so acting.

The licensing of Slaughtermen

2. No person shall carry out any of the operations specified in paragraph 3 below except:

  1. under and in accordance with the terms of a licence granted and registered under paragraph 5 below;
  2.  under and in accordance with the terms of a licence issued by a local authority under the Slaughter of Poultry Act 1967 (“the 1967 Act”) (a), the Slaughterhouses Act 1974 (“the 1974 Act”)(b), the Slaughter of Animals (Scotland) Act 1980 (“the 1980 Act”) (c) or any regulations made under any of those Acts; or
  3. under and in accordance with the terms of a provisional licence granted under paragraph 7 below.

Operations which require a licence

3. The operations mentioned in paragraph 2 above for which a licence is required are any of the following:

  1. the restraint of any animal for the purpose of stunning, slaughtering or killing that animal;
  2. the stunning of any animal;
  3. the slaughter of any animal;
  4. the killing of any animal;
  5. the pithing of any stunned animal;
  6. the assessment of effective stunning, pithing or killing of any animal by any person whose duty it is to make such an assessment;
  7. the shackling or hoisting of any stunned animal; and
  8. the bleeding of any animal which is not dead.

Certificates of competence

4. – (1)  In this Schedule “certificate of competence” means:

  1. a certificate issued under sub-paragraph (2) below by a veterinary surgeon authorised for the purpose by the Minister (“an authorised veterinary surgeon”);
  2. a certificate issued by a veterinary surgeon which accompanied an application for a licence under the Slaughter of Poultry (Licences and Specified Qualifications) Regulations 1991 (“the 1991 Regulations”) (d) in accordance with Regulation 5(1)(a)(i) and Schedule 1 thereto;