Home slaughter

There is an allowance in the EU food hygiene and official controls regulations for the home or on farm slaughter of livestock, providing that the meat is only to be eaten by you or your family.

Home slaughter differs from private slaughter, which is when the owner of the animal sends it to an approved slaughterhouse to be slaughtered and returned to the owner.

The Home Slaughter of Livestock Guide provides advice on the conditions which must be met to ensure home slaughter is carried out legally. It also provides guidance on how to minimise any potential risks to human health, as home slaughter is likely to carry a greater health risk than slaughter in an approved establishment.

The guide is intended for livestock owners who slaughter animals on farm for their own or their families personal consumption, as well as for local authorities who are responsible for food hygiene, animal welfare and the control of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) on farms.


  • The Guide is not intended to cover all livestock species but it does cover those species for which we receive most enquiries and is therefore particularly applicable to the following: cattle, sheep and goats, where TSE controls apply.
  • For the purposes of this guide, ‘farm’ is defined as any premises where livestock are kept.

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​Home Slaughter

Keepers of animals who slaughter livestock1 on farm2 for their own consumption or that of members of their household living there.