By Dr. Melissa Moggy

Recently, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry reviewed and amended the Meat Inspection Regulation. Some amendments were focused on enabling innovation and change by removing red tape, improving clarity, and changing to a more outcome-based regulation. What that means is that the regulation now specifies a desired outcome that must be met, rather than giving instructions on how that outcome is reached.

The Meat Inspection Regulation also includes updated definitions on meat by-products and inedibles, categories of salvage, and directions on collecting, handling, storing, shipping, and labelling different categories of salvage. These changes will help abattoirs to salvage more meat by-products, improve access to specialty ethnic markets, and increase access to animal food. However, these products cannot enter the food chain if they are not inspected but may be used by the owner of the animal.

READ MORE: AFAC: The Livestock Care Conference goes virtual for 2020

There is also a new license under the Meat Inspection Regulation. The Uninspected Slaughter Operation Licence is for anyone who owns land where on-farm slaughter occurs. This licence allows producers to sell a live animal to a customer and offer on-farm slaughter and processing services to the customer. Again, the meat is uninspected and is not for sale, but is for the consumption of the customer, who is the owner of the animal.

The final thing to change in the Meat Inspection Regulation is the future allowance of Meat and Dairy Inspection Section inspectors to perform video ante-mortems. This change will be finalized after the government has completed its research on video ante-mortem inspections. It will allow inspectors to perform their ante-mortem inspection, which is needed to sell the meat, from a real-time ante-mortem video of the animal prior to slaughter. This is ideal for animals that are unfit for transport, in emergency situations, or as approved by the Director. The carcass of the animal must be transported to a licensed abattoir within two hours to complete the slaughter process and to complete a post-mortem inspection. The inspected meat can then be sold for public consumption.

RELATED: BCRC: Specified Risk Material (SRM) Disposal

Please see the factsheets below for more information: