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"On Farm" Personal Use Exemption

NOTE: None of the meat generated from this type of slaughter is allowed to be sold or offered for barter. The meat and meat food products generated can only be used exclusively by the individual or individuals who purchased the live animal and the members of his/her household and his/her nonpaying guests and employees.

A farmer selling a live animal to an individual or individuals will not be required to have a license or receive inspection if the slaughter of that livestock meets the following requirements:

  • A person or persons purchases the livestock from a famer that raised the livestock
  • The farmer is registered with the Secretary, on a form provided by the Secretary, as selling livestock for slaughter under this subsection
  • The individual or individuals who purchased the livestock actually performs the act of slaughtering the livestock[i], as the owner of the livestock
  • The act of slaughter occurs on a site on the farm where the livestock was purchased (after approval from the farmer)
  • The slaughter is done under sanitary conditions[ii]
  • The farmer who sold the livestock does not assist in the slaughter[iii].
  • Per year, no more than 10 cattle, or 30 swine, or 80 sheep/goats, or a total of 12,000 lbs. (based on live weight[iv]) if there is any combination of different species, can be slaughtered under this exemption.
  • The slaughtered livestock may be halved or quartered by the indivdual or individuals who purchased the livestock, but solely for the purpose of transport from the farm.
  • The livestock is slaughtered according to a humane method, as that term is defined in subdivision 6 V.S.A. 3131(6)
  • The farmer who sold the livestock must maintain a record of the details of each transaction and slaughter conducted under this exemption.  On or before January 15, April15, July 15, and October 15, the farmer must send a report (choose fillable or printable) regarding all slaughter activity conducted in the previous 3 months (i.e.quarter) via any of the following methods:

VT Agency of Agriculture, ATTN: Meat inspection

116 State St., Montpelier, VT 05620


Fax: 802-828-5983

If you are not able to use any of the above methods, please call us and we can help you. 802-828-2426

  • If a farmer fails to report slaughter activity conducted under this subsection, the Secretary may suspend the ability of the farmer to sell animals to an individual or individuals for slaughter under this subsection

The farmer is responsible for ensuring the slaughter is done under sanitary conditions that prevent the adulteration of the livestock or meat, and the activities on the farm adhere to the Required Agricultural Practices (RAPs)[v] to preclude any contamination to the ground waters of the State. The farmer must also dispose of the waste from such slaughter in a manner that meets the requirements of the RAPs for the management of agricultural waste.

[i] The individual may hire an itinerant slaughterer to perform the act of slaughter, however, the farmer who sold the livestock is not allowed to function as that itinerant slaughterer, and the new owners must at least be present during slaughter

[ii] Sanitary Conditions means a site on a farm that is:

  1. Clean and free of contaminants; and
  2. Located or designed in a way to prevent:
    1. The occurrence or water pollution; and
    2. The adulteration of the livestock or slaughtered meat

[iii] “Assist in the slaughter of livestock” means the act of slaughtering or butchering an animal and shall not mean the farmer’s provision of a site on the farm for slaughter, provision of implements for slaughter, or the service of disposal of the carcass or offal from slaughter.

[iv] A reasonable estimate of the live weight of an animal can be used if scales are not available. 

[v] The Water Quality Division of the VT Agency of Agriculture enforces the RAPs. Please contact Water Quality for any questions.


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