Meat Inspection

In Manitoba, it is a regulatory requirement to harvest an animal in a permitted abattoir if the intent is to sell the meat for human consumption. The only exception to this regulatory requirement is whole poultry carcasses, including eviscerated poultry, that has been produced and sold on the producer’s premises and bears a label indicating “Not Government Inspected.”

Meat processed in a provincially permitted abattoir can be sold only in Manitoba; not outside of the province. A licence under the Safe Food for Canadians Act is required to sell meat products outside of Manitoba.

Permitted abattoirs must also have a provincial meat inspector onsite during the harvest operation to ensure animals for harvest are fit for human consumption, treated humanely, and the abattoir operates in a sanitary manner as per provincial food safety and animal welfare regulations.

Every carcass and its parts are inspected. Those that do not pass inspection are condemned and disposed of. Meat inspectors may consult with a Food Safety Veterinarian, if technical guidance is required.

Pathology testing of carcass samples, if needed, is conducted at the Veterinary Diagnostic Services (VDS) laboratory. Carcasses and their parts are withheld pending lab results.

Meat inspectors also collect surveillance samples to test for contaminants, such as antibiotics and microorganisms.

Abattoirs that conduct further processing, such as cutting, packaging, deboning, smoking and curing, and distribute their products for further sale, require an additional Manitoba Agriculture food processing permit.

When to Obtain a Permit

Permits are required for new provincial abattoirs, existing abattoirs planning renovations or if there has been a change in ownership.Review details on the How to obtain an abattoir permit in Manitoba webpage.

There are currently 25 Provincial Abattoirs in Manitoba.

Obtaining Meat for Cultural and Religious Practices

Manitoba meat inspectors can consider religious and cultural practices and make regulatory exemptions, where they can be safely accommodated to help Manitobans access legal meat, according to their cultural and religious needs. For more information, contact us at

Uninspected Meat Handling Facilities

Owners of red meat animals can bring their carcasses to a meat processing facility that has a separate uninspected meat permit that allows the facility to cut and wrap the meat of these animals.

During processing, this meat is stored and handled separate from inspected meat.

After processing, this meat is returned to the owner and it is only for personal use.
Abattoirs cannot handle uninspected meat.

Game Carcass Handling Facilities

Hunters can bring the carcass of a game animal (e.g., elk, deer and moose) to a meat processing facility or abattoir for further processing.

During processing, this game meat is stored and handled separate from inspected meat.

After processing, this game meat is returned to the owner and it is only for personal use.


For more information, email the Food Safety and Inspection Branch or call 204-795-8418 in Winnipeg.