1930s Slaughter Legislation
The Slaughter of Animals Act provides for the treatment of animals in slaughterhouses and for slaughter licences. The legislation is enforced by the Health Authority, including its veterinary officers.
The Slaughter of Cattle and Sheep Act provides for the slaughter of cattle and sheep for human consumption and matters relating to the regulation of export and use of animals slaughtered, including the distribution of meat of animals.
Where an export order is in place, a person may only export cattle and sheep with a licence.
It is an offence for any person to slaughter an animal other than a veterinary surgeon without a slaughter licence. There are provisions in respect of the application to the health authority for a slaughter license. Conditions may be imposed in respect of the slaughtering licence.
Slaughter licences may be revoked and suspended. They are renewed from period to period. Fees are payable.
A licence may be revoked if the health authorities believe the person ceases to be a fit and proper person to engage in the slaughter of animals. Licences may be suspended as a result. There is provision for appeal to the District Court against suspension or revocation of a licence.
Where the holder of a slaughter licence is convicted of an offence under the legislation, the Court may also disqualify him from holding a licence for a period or otherwise.
The Department may make regulations regarding procedures in relation to the issue of slaughter licences by health authorities, prescription of registers and records to be kept, and communication with other authorities making information available to An Garda Siochana and the Minister.
Regulation & Requirements
The legislation provides for the treatment of animals in slaughterhouses. In particular, there must be an adequate supply of water and food of suitable and wholesome quality. Animals may not be slaughtered in each other’s sight. Slaughtering may not cause excessive, unnecessary or avoidable pain or suffering.
The use of certain instruments in slaughtering is a compulsory subject to certain exemptions in respect of slaughters following Jewish and Muslim procedures.
The Department of Agriculture may prescribe approved animal slaughter instruments and may prohibit other types of instruments. The owner and occupier of slaughterhouses in respect of which offences are committed may be guilty in addition to the persons who committed the act themselves.
Breach & Enforcement
Members of An Garda Siochana and the health authorities may enter premises at all reasonable times to inspect the slaughterhouse, plant, and equipment, observe processes, demand details of the name and address of the person in charge and demand production of slaughter licence. Failure to comply or destruction is an offence.