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Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine,Council of Agriculture,Executive Yuan

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Regulations for Slaughter Operation

Regulations for Slaughter Operation

Amended March 25, 2019

Article 1

This set of Regulations for Slaughter Operation is formulated pursuant to Paragraph 3 of Article 30 of the Animal Industry Act (hereinafter the Act) .

Article 2

Slaughterhouses shall conduct sampling tests – in accordance with central competent authority’s requirements – for microbial monitoring to ensure that the carcasses/viscera produced on-site are fit for human consumption.

Article 3

In-house animals shall be banned on slaughterhouse premises except for guard dogs that shall be properly supervised to avoid cross contamination.

Article 4

Slaughter operation area shall be kept clean, and equipped with effective pest control devices against vectors and insects; such devices shall be checked and maintained regularly to ensure proper functioning; the check/maintenance records, and pest control records shall be kept for at least one year.

Article 5

Chemicals, detergents, disinfectants, pesticide and other chemical preparations shall comply with requirements set forth by their respective competent authorities, and be stored in designated spaces with restrictive access to avoid contaminating the carcass and viscera.

Article 6

Management of slaughter operation areas shall comply with the following requirements:

1. The areas shall be kept clean and well organized without any object irrelevant to the tasks in the specific operation area.

2. Lighting equipment and fixture shall be kept clean and well maintained.

3. Cleaning tools shall be kept at designated spots.

4. Objects in the storage shall maintain at least a five-centimeter distance from the wall and floor to ensure proper ventilation.

Article 7

Sanitary management of cutting tools and machineries in a slaughterhouse shall comply with the following requirements:

1. The thermometer, pressure gauge, flow meter and other measuring instruments shall be checked and calibrated regularly and well maintained; relevant maintenance records shall be kept for at least one year.

2. Cutting tools and machineries shall be checked regularly and well maintained; Machineries in direct contact with the carcass/viscera shall use food-grade lubricant.

3. Cutting tools and machineries in direct contact with the carcass/viscera shall be disinfected with hot water of 83-degree Celsius or higher.

4. Cutting tools, machineries during or after the slaughter operation, or disassembled parts, shall be placed in their respective designated sanitary spots.

5. Cutting tools and machineries shall be cleaned and disinfected after each shift of slaughter operation.

Article 8

Cleaning tasks inside the slaughterhouse shall comply with the following requirements:

1. Detergents shall be used for cleaning after each shift of slaughter operation.

2. Warm water shall be used for cleaning any surface tainted with blood or fat.

3. Disinfection tasks may use disinfectants or hot water of 83-degree Celsius or higher.

Article 8-1

Transport vehicles (in-house or commissioned) for animal carcasses/viscera and their parts shall comply with the following requirements:

1.The vehicle and on-board equipment shall be kept clean and sanitary, and checked before loading.

2.During the transport, the carcass/viscera shall avoid exposure to direct sunlight, rain, large fluctuation of temperature or humidity, collision, and the vehicle shall avoid accumulation of excessive water on the deck.

3.Before loading chilled animal carcasses/viscera or their parts, the vehicle shall be checked to ensure all compartments can effectively keep the proper temperature.

4.Vehicles for live animals must not be used to carry carcasses, viscera or their parts.

5.Transport vehicles transporting pig carcasses, viscera, and their parts must have real-time tracking system installed that is operating normally in accordance with the specifications required by the central competent authority.

Article 9

Water drainage system at the slaughterhouse shall be cleaned and maintained regularly to ensure good drainage.

Article 10

Lavatories, changing rooms, hand-wash and disinfection devices, workers’ living quarters, canteen, rest areas and veterinary inspectors’ office shall be kept well ventilated, well-lit and clean.

Article 11

The slaughterhouse’s daily routine operation must not begin until after the meat inspector – assigned according to the Standards to Establish Slaughterhouses – has conducted the pre-operation check to ensure none of the following situations exists:

1. Poorly maintained building structure or facility that may lead to contamination of the carcass/viscera.

2. Equipment found with meat scraps, fat, blood, oil stain due to improper cleaning and disinfection procedures that may lead to contamination of the carcass/viscera.

3. Poorly maintained post-mortem inspection facilities that may hinder the inspection.

Article 12

General slaughter operation of livestock/poultry animals shall comply with the following requirements:

1. Animal excrement at the holding area shall be washed away or properly disposed of.

2. Holding pens and walkways shall be kept clean with minimum number of obstacles like obstructions or sharp edges that may cause pain or injury to animals; non-slip flooring in walkways and ramps shall be installed to allow animals stand and walk in natural posture; walkways shall be designed (A) without sharp turns or devices that go against or interfere with animal movement, and (B) to keep animal moving forward without congestion; clean water and sufficient space to lie down at night shall be provided for animals in the holding pen.

3. Whenever possible, one shall avoid prodding animals with an electric goad before slaughter; if a goad with alternating current is used, the voltage shall be kept at under 50 volts; to minimize animal disturbance and anxiety, one must not prod animals with sharp, pointed devices deemed – upon inspection – harmful or causing undue pains to animals.

4. The area surrounding the stunning pen shall be kept clean.

5. One must not inject water into livestock, poultry or their carcasses.

6. Until an animal is humanely stunned, one must not tie up, throw, fling, cut or bleed out the animal. Bleeding out and all ensuing handling processes shall be conducted off the floor.

7. The knife to bleed out animals shall be kept sharp.

8. Animal blood shall be collected in designated containers – made of non-absorbent materials – that are removed and cleaned at the proper time; if there is contamination by foreign objects or inedible animal blood, the entire batch must not be used for human consumption.

9. Animals shall be completely bled out before scalding.

10. Water temperature in the scalding tank shall be kept constant and checked frequently.

11. Dehairing or plucking agent, if used, shall comply with the requirements of competent health authorities.

12. After the body cavity is cut open or the head is removed, the carcass must not be rinsed before the post-mortem inspection.

13. To avoid cross contamination between carcasses and viscera on the slaughter production line, they shall be kept apart at a proper distance, or placed in properly designed segregated devices.

14. Contaminated equipment shall be washed clean first then disinfected with hot water of 83-degree Celsius or higher.

15. Tools like knives or saws in contact with carcass of a suspected animal, carcass deemed for detention, or tissue lesions during slaughter process shall be washed clean immediately and then disinfected with hot water of 83-degree Celsius or higher.

16. Containers or devices to hold edible carcass, viscera or their parts shall be kept clean; once used, they shall be washed and disinfected.

17. Zoning in the slaughter operation areas shall be clearly marked and segregated; one shall abide by the operating procedure when moving from a contaminated zone to a clean zone.

Article 13

Slaughter operations specifically for livestock shall comply with the following requirements:

1. Filth or feces on the surface of livestock animals in the holding pen shall be thoroughly washed off.

2. Animals having difficulty walking shall be segregated from the normal herd; it is prohibited to drag disease suspected, handicapped or conscious animals with walking difficulties; a handcart or proper transport device shall be used.

3. When a penetrating stunner (bolt gun) is used, the part of brain or tissue contaminated with skin, hair or bone shall be discarded.

4. The dust, dirt, hair and muck on a carcass shall be thoroughly cleaned off before its head is removed and body cavity is cut open; splash shall be avoided to prevent contaminating other carcasses.

5. When cutting off the animal head, the worker shall avoid contaminating it with contents of upper digestive or respiratory track; the head shall be taken away promptly.

6. When cutting open the carcass, the worker shall avoid contaminating it with contents of the digestive track.

7. Knives and saws used for slaughter operations shall be washed and disinfected frequently.

8. Before splitting the carcass in half, the worker shall clean up all contaminants on the backside near the spine.

9. When splitting the carcass in half, the worker shall keep it from touching any surface such as the floor, the wall, the platform or working boots.

10. The carcass shall have been distinctly tattooed with the individual animal’s number before the post-mortem inspection.

11. During the post-mortem inspection, any wound, abscess or tissue lesion shall have been thoroughly trimmed off before carcass washing.

12. Once a suspected carcass or viscera is identified during the post-mortem inspection, the inspection table in direct contact with it shall be washed and disinfected with hot water of 83-degree Celsius or higher.

13. The digestive track shall be thoroughly rinsed off after its content is emptied. Caution shall be taken to avoid contaminating other organs.

14. Trays to hold viscera for inspection shall be washed clean and disinfected with hot water of 83-degree Celsius or higher on a regular basis.

15. The table surface for viscera processing shall be washed frequently; it shall be disinfected with hot water of 83-degree Celsius or higher if tainted with content of digestive track, skin, hair, feces or muck.

16. Caution shall be taken to avoid carcasses/viscera intended for human consumption coming in contact with the floor or wall.

17. Skinning and related tasks shall comply with the following requirements:

i. Initial incision shall be made by turning the knife blade outward and cutting from the inside of the skin toward the outside.

ii. Skinned carcass shall be kept from touching the detached skin.

iii. The table intended for skinning shall be kept clean; the carcass – once removed from the skinning table – must not come in contact with the floor or any other object.

iv. The floor and skinning equipment shall be cleaned up after each carcass is skinned.

v. The detached skin shall be taken out of the slaughtering area as soon as possible to avoid contaminating the carcass or viscera.

18. Udder removal task shall comply with the following requirements:

i. The content shall be kept from leaking out.

ii. If a skinned carcass is tainted by udder content, the tainted part shall be trimmed off.

iii. Workers tainted by udder content shall wash it off with detergent.

iv. Cutting tools tainted with udder content shall be washed and disinfected promptly with hot water of 83-degree Celsius or higher.

19. A cattle’s esophagus shall be tied up immediately after the head is removed; the esophagus shall be peeled off from the chest cavity down to the diaphragm to be separated from the trachea and lung.

20. Before cutting open the abdominal cavity of cattle or sheep, any potential contaminant on the front leg, hind leg and near the chest midline shall be trimmed off.

21. When handling the area near a cattle’s anus, the worker shall tie up the rectum first to keep digestive track content from contaminating the carcass.

Article 14

Slaughter operations for poultry shall comply with the following requirements:

1. Transport cages for live poultry shall be kept clean, and – once used – washed and disinfected promptly.

2. The water in the scalding tank shall be maintained at a level allowing proper amount of overflow after each bird is immersed to keep the water reasonably clean; this overflow requirement shall also apply to scalding tank for feet and neck.

3. The water jet inside the plucking machine shall be strong enough to remove all mucks and feathers on the carcass surface; the carcass that has dropped to the floor in plucking area must not be put back on the conveyer line until it is properly washed and disinfected.

4. Containers to collect plucked feathers shall be placed in the contaminated zone and removed from the slaughter area at the proper time.

5. Incompletely plugged poultry must not be gutted.

6. The carcass shall be thoroughly cleaned/washed before gutting.

7. Before gutting, the carcass shall be transferred to the shackle of next railing circuit; the used shackle shall be washed clean before reuse.

8. When removing the bird’s cloaca, caution shall be taken to avoid spilling the content.

9. When eviscerating the bird, caution shall be taken to avoid damage to the organs or the carcass. To avoid cross contamination, knives after direct contact with the carcass shall be promptly disinfected with hot water of 83-degree Celsius or higher.

10. Carcasses shall be thoroughly washed clean before entering the chilling tank; the crop and trachea shall be removed at the same time as the neck.

11. Water in the chilling tank shall be kept at a level to allow sufficient overflow after carcass immersion. The overflow shall be properly drained.

12. Handling of poultry carcasses/viscera shall comply with Entries 13 to 16 of Article 13 for livestock.

Article 15

Slaughterhouse workers shall comply with the following hygiene requirements:

1. Workers shall follow specific rules to enter/exit each operation area; it is strictly forbidden to enter the clean zone from the contaminated zone. This rule applies to visitors too.

2. Personal belongs must not be brought into the slaughter operation area.

3. Working boots shall be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before entering and after exiting the slaughter operation area.

4. Workers shall change into clean outfit and boots specifically for the task before entering the slaughter operation area.

5. Workers on the slaughter line must not smoke, eat or drink, chew beetle nuts or chewing gum, or do anything that may cause the hair, dandruff, skin flakes or body fluid to contaminate the carcass/viscera; workers must not wear makeup or apply skin-medication that may contaminate carcass/viscera or the surface/packing material in direct contact with the carcass/viscera.

6. Workers on the slaughter line shall keep their hands clean and thoroughly washed with detergent before and after work. Any worker in direct contact with carcass or viscera must not grow long fingernail, wear nail polish or decorative accessories.

Article 16

Slaughterhouse workers shall comply with the health requirements set forth by the central competent authority of health; non-compliant workers must not perform tasks in direct contact with carcass/viscera.

Article 17

The slaughterhouse operator shall comply with the following requirements when disposing of carcass/viscera condemned by meat inspectors:

1. Clearly marked vessels with tight lid shall be used.

2. Once a vessel is used, it shall be washed clean and disinfected at a designated place after the operation is finished.

3. Condemned Carcasses/viscera shall be disposed of properly to avoid entering human food supply chain; disposal details (method, date, quantity, handler’s name) shall be documented and kept for at least one year.

Article 18

Water supply at the slaughterhouse shall comply with the following requirements:

1. Water to wash the carcass/viscera, and the machinery and device in direct contact with carcass/viscera, shall have been treated by the on-site water purifying/disinfection equipment, unless it is tap water. Before the first-time use and every year after that, the slaughterhouse shall get a government-licensed agency to test the water to ensure quality compliance.

2. Water storage tanks and water distribution piping shall be checked and maintained at the proper times; they shall be checked and recorded at least once every six months.

3. If the water is purified or disinfected on-site, the equipment shall be checked – and a record kept – for proper functioning every day.

4. The slaughterhouse shall have a secure and sustainable water source and a suitable water supply system.

5. The use and monitoring of recycled water shall follow the procedure approved by the central environmental protection competent authority. The records in Entries 1-3 of this Article shall be kept for at least one year for future inspection.

Article 19

The slaughterhouse shall submit by the tenth of each month the records of actual operation hours and total number of animals slaughtered in the previous month, as well as operation schedule and estimated number of animals to process for the next month to the central competent authority or its delegated agency.

Article 20

This set of Regulations shall enter into force as of the date of promulgation. However, Article 8-1 that was appended on March 5, 2014 shall become effective on September 5, 2014.