Chapter 17 - Ante and Post-mortem Procedures, Dispositions, Monitoring and Controls - Meat Species, Ostriches, Rheas and Emus
17.5 Ante-Mortem Examination (Screening) and Ante-Mortem Inspection
- 17.5.1 Purpose of Ante-Mortem Examination (Screening) and Ante-Mortem Inspection
- 17.5.2 Ante-Mortem Examination (Screening) and Animal Information Documents
- 17.5.3 Presenting Live Animals to Ante-Mortem Inspection
- 17.5.4 CFIA Ante-Mortem Inspection
- 17.5.5 Special Procedures
- 17.5.6 Animals Housed within a Federally Registered Facility
Ante-mortem examination (screening) and ante-mortem inspection serve the following purposes:
- To identify animals which are suspected of showing deviation from normal behaviour or appearance that could render the carcass unfit for human consumption. Some conditions including neurological abnormalities may be present that are not detectable on post mortem examination/inspection. The ante-mortem examination (screening) is extremely important because it permits the interception of diseased animals which, if permitted to enter the slaughter floor, could be responsible for contamination of facilities and equipment.
- To identify animals which are suspected of having been treated with veterinary drugs such as antibiotics; or of containing chemical residues.
- To identify heavily contaminated animals. This enables early action to be taken to resolve potential problems associated with this contamination in the slaughtering and dressing processes. This action could be, for example, a reduced line speed or the addition of personnel in appropriate areas.
- To identify animals which are suspected of having a reportable or exotic disease.
- To identify animals requiring special handling for animal welfare reasons.
- To identify animals which could pose a threat to the health of personnel handling them.
18.104.22.168 Ante-Mortem Examination (Screening)
The operator is responsible for an initial ante-mortem examination (screening) of all classes of food animals upon their arrival at the slaughter establishment.
A control program as prescribed in the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 must be developed, implemented and maintained by the operator to ensure the proper delivery of this activity.
All red meat species of food animals, including ostriches, rheas and emus, must be examined by the operator within 24 hours of slaughter. Each animal shall be observed by a plant employee, more likely at the arrival, in motion from both sides, including the head and rear, in order to detect all anomalies.
The operator shall ensure that animals showing a deviation from normal behaviour or appearance during ante-mortem examination (screening) are individually identified, marked and placed in a designated (suspect) pen. The operator shall also ensure that suspect animals designated by the CFIA during ante-mortem inspection are individually identified, marked and placed in a designated (suspect) pen.
Plant employees performing ante-mortem examination (screening) shall record on a form CFIA/ACIA 1438 or an equivalent in-house form the following information for each lot or animal received at the slaughter establishment: the owner's name, address, lot identity and description, number of animals screened and the number of suspect animals segregated from the lot. For suspect animals placed in a designated (suspect) pen, the identity and description of the animal and a description of the condition(s) observed shall also be recorded. The CFIA personnel will complete the CFIA/ACIA 1438 form or the equivalent in-house form by adding information on ante-mortem findings and the disposition of the animal (e.g. condemned at ante mortem; approved to proceed for slaughter).
Plant employees performing this function must have been trained to do the examination as per Annex A of this chapter: Ante-mortem examination (screening) - A training guide for plant employees.
22.214.171.124 Control Over Hazards Associated with Receiving of Live Animals
The operator must ensure that hazards associated with food animals are properly identified and addressed in the HACCP system.
The operator shall ensure the hazard associated with exposure to chemical contaminants and the use of veterinary drugs are identified on the list of chemical dangers (FSEP Form 6 or equivalent) and controlled in the company's HACCP system. Proper control mechanisms must be developed so that animals received and slaughtered, and carcasses and their parts processed in the establishment are in compliance with the applicable requirements respecting the use of veterinary drugs in Canada.
All relevant information from the level of primary production shall be taken into account on an ongoing basis. The operator shall receive assurance from producers that animals presented for slaughter are acceptable for human consumption. This means that biological, chemical and physical hazards are identified and to the extent possible controlled at the farm level. Hazards that need to be managed at the slaughter establishment must be identified to the operator (e.g. broken needles).
Every operator shall develop, implement and maintain a control program to verify the accuracy and completeness of the animal information document received. This control program must also include the review of health status information on all livestock as a condition of slaughter eligibility.
The means of information transfer and the content of the document to be transferred from the producer to the operator, unless specified in this manual, shall be negotiated between the establishment operator and the producer. The transfer of animal health status information enables the operator to make appropriate operational adjustments such as order of production, segregation, line speed and/or personnel adjustment preparations necessary to enhance the operator's ability to process animals in a sanitary manner.
The CFIA suggests operators indicate in their HACCP plan that "Copies of completed information transfer documents are not to be made for distribution other than for internal use by the operator or the CFIA."
Also, a paragraph included to the proposed animal information document, worded in proper legal terms, on the following is warranted: "The information gathered with information documents is to be used for the intended purposes. Any use other than the intended food safety or disease control issues can be considered a breach of the right to confidentiality laws in Canada. Employees that use the information for other purposes can be prosecuted."
Equine sent to slaughter establishments for human consumption must be presented with an acceptable identification and historical information document(s). For additional details refer to Annex E of this chapter.
The operator shall review all submitted Equine Information Documents (individual animal or lot documents) to determine if they are complete and the animals they represent are acceptable for slaughter. If the documents are accepted by the operator, the documents (or copies thereof) are submitted to the CFIA for review and official authorization of slaughter prior to slaughtering the animals.
After the operator and the CFIA review and accept the EID or Lot EID, the CFIA veterinarian will sign the EID/ Lot EID and document on the related CFIA/ACIA 1438, or the equivalent in-house form, that the EID/ Lot EID provided for the animal / lot has been reviewed and has been found to be complete and acceptable. In the case of SLEID submission, the operator shall ensure that the CFIA has the original or a copy of the relevant IEID for a correlation comparison.
Once ante-mortem inspection is completed and it is determined that the animals may proceed to slaughter, the CFIA veterinarian will sign the CFIA/ACIA 1438 or equivalent in-house form to authorize slaughter. No equine shall proceed to slaughter unless the associated CFIA/ACIA 1438 or equivalent in-house form is signed by the CFIA.
Any equine or lot of equine received at the establishment without the required information documents (EID or Lot EID) or with an incomplete or inaccurate document shall not proceed to slaughter. In addition, based on the information available to the operator (e.g. the review of the EID), animals that appear to be in non compliance with the applicable requirements respecting the use of veterinary drugs shall not proceed to slaughter. In both the above situations, the equine or lot of animals shall be segregated, identified and held by the operator. The operator will immediately inform the CFIA of the details of the deficiency (ies). The operator shall submit proposed corrective actions in writing which include details of the potential disposition of the animals to the Veterinarian in Charge (VIC) for approval. It is strongly suggested that the operator develop contingency plans for holding animals in the event that animals are presented for slaughter, but are not able to be slaughtered because of non acceptability reasons. Operators are reminded that any related contingency plans must be developed in compliance with animal welfare requirements.
See Annex F for additional equine ante-mortem procedures
Following the ante-mortem examination (screening), the operator shall ensure that food animals receive an ante-mortem inspection by the CFIA.
No animal shall be slaughtered unless the animal has been subjected, within 24 hours before the time of slaughter, to an ante-mortem inspection performed by an official veterinarian or by an inspector under the supervision of an official veterinarian.
Once the ante-mortem inspection is performed, a CFIA/ACIA 1438 form or an equivalent in-house form shall be completed by the CFIA personnel.
No animal shall be slaughtered in a registered establishment unless authorized by an inspector. It is the operator's responsibility to ensure that only those animals that have passed ante-mortem examination (screening) and ante-mortem inspection by the CFIA, as required under the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990, are permitted to proceed to the slaughter floor.
Relevant information (ex. Held animals, lot that needs a follow-up for residue monitoring, etc.) obtained at ante-mortem examination (screening) and ante-mortem inspection must be conveyed by the operator to the inspection staff personnel conducting post mortem inspection. This information is relayed by means of a properly completed CFIA/ACIA 1438, an equivalent in-house form, or any other method approved by the Veterinarian in Charge before carcasses are presented for the post-mortem inspection.
No animal shall be slaughtered in a registered establishment unless the animal has been subjected, within 24 hours before the time of slaughter, to an ante-mortem inspection performed by an official veterinarian or by an inspector under the supervision of an official veterinarian. All animals including ostriches, emus and rheas shall be inspected by an inspector while they are at rest and 5 to 10% of such animals, from several lots, shall be examined on both sides while in motion.
During this phase of ante-mortem inspection, all animals showing a deviation from normal behaviour or appearance must be individually identified, marked and placed in a designated (suspect) pen by the operator in order to allow a detailed inspection by an official veterinarian.
Note: Foreign countries' requirements might mandate that a veterinarian performs ante-mortem inspection on all animals; both normal and abnormal animals. Refer to the specific countries requirements in Chapter 11.
The person who performs the ante-mortem inspection on a lot or animal must complete the corresponding form CFIA/ACIA 1438 or equivalent in-house form. The CFIA/ACIA 1438 form or the equivalent in-house form shall be completed by recording: information on ante-mortem findings and the disposition of the animal (e.g. condemned at ante mortem; approved to proceed for slaughter), the time and date of inspection and the signature or initial.
All animals screened out by the operator or held by the inspector are to be subjected to a detailed veterinary inspection and, when judged necessary, are to be suitably restrained for this purpose. Based on his findings, the veterinarian will make one of the following dispositions:
- the animal is to be permitted to proceed for normal slaughter;
- the animal is to be set aside for rest and/or treatment, or to go through an appropriate withdrawal time if a veterinary medication residue is a cause of concern, prior to slaughter, and further ante-mortem inspection, as appropriate;
- the animal is to be deemed a suspect and is to be set aside for separate slaughter, along with other suspects, preferably at the end of normal slaughter;
- the animal is to be deemed a suspect but, for humane reasons, is to proceed for immediate slaughter; or
- the animal is to be condemned and euthanized.
126.96.36.199 Animals Identified for Partial Dressing
Any abnormality noted during ante-mortem examination (screening) or the ante-mortem inspection that may be related to a food safety concern (e.g. lumps, abscess, etc.) will disqualify the animal from the partial dressing procedure. Refer to section 188.8.131.52 for additional details on partial dressing.
184.108.40.206 Animals Suspected of Harbouring Residues
The operator is responsible for segregating animals or herds when it is brought to his attention that animals have received treatment prior to slaughter and a doubt exists whether or not the observed withdrawal time was sufficient to clear the medication from tissues. All animals with a history of having been treated with a veterinary drug or exposed to a chemical contamination in such a way that their tissues could be unfit for consumption must be held at ante-mortem examination (screening) and considered as suspect animals.
Animals signalled by the seller to the operator as being of an uncertain status regarding the absence of chemical contaminants or veterinary drug residues in their tissues should not be slaughtered unless their slaughtering is discussed beforehand with the Area Residue Program Specialist. All details of the testing needed to clarify their status will have to be set before the slaughter, including the number and size of the samples to be collected, tests required, methods of analysis, name of laboratory, and cost recovery issues.
Refer to Chapter 5 of this manual for more instructions on dealing with an animal or a lot suspected of having been exposed to chemical contaminants or veterinary drugs that may affect the disposition of the carcass or its parts, and also for the specific procedures for pre-test animals.
220.127.116.11 Identified Reactors
This section is currently under review.
18.104.22.168 Handling of Non-Ambulatory Livestock at Federally Inspected Slaughter Plants
Any operators wishing to process animals that became non-ambulatory during transport (en route) or became non-ambulatory in the lairage, must have adequate facilities, equipment, trained personnel and procedures acceptable to the CFIA Veterinarian in Charge, to prevent further suffering of the animal prior to and during processing. These animals should be given priority for slaughter due to humane welfare considerations. It will be at the CFIA Veterinarian's discretion following ante-mortem inspection of the animal, to decide whether the animal can proceed to slaughter. If the company is unable to humanely process this class of animals or if the CFIA veterinary assessment can not be performed in a timely manner, the animal must be humanely euthanized by approved euthanasia techniques, in situ and properly disposed of as required in section 54 of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990, and described in Chapter 6 of this manual. In all cases, non-ambulatory animals must be made humanely insensible where they lie.
Please consult the CFIA Transportation of Animals Program - Compromised Animals Policy website for more details on the humane handling of animals upon arrival and within the abattoir.
Any animal, other than bovine, becoming compromised in the lairage after receiving a CFIA ante-mortem inspection may be stunned in place and moved for slaughter without a second ante-mortem inspection, provided that the CFIA Veterinarian is notified, approves the decision, and the procedure is in keeping with the afore mentioned acceptable procedures. All such animals must be clearly identified and presented for CFIA veterinary post mortem inspection as "suspect" animals unless otherwise directed by the attending CFIA Veterinarian.
Non-ambulatory bovines are not eligible for slaughter unless they pass an ante-mortem inspection by a CFIA Veterinarian. If the veterinarian can determine that a specific acute injury resulted in the animal becoming non-ambulatory, it can be stunned on site,transported to the kill floor for bleeding and dressing. If the CFIA Veterinarian cannot determine that a specific acute injury resulted in the animal becoming non-ambulatory, the animal shall be euthanized, and the carcass transported to the inedible section of the establishment in order to be properly marked as Specified Risk Material (SRM) (unless the SRM has been removed from the condemned animal) and disposed of as prescribed by the regulations. If indicated by the case definition for suspect or surveillance cases, specimens are to be collected for rabies and/or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) (see 22.214.171.124, Annex D of this chapter and Chapter 5 of this Manual for more details).
In the case where it is necessary to stun compromised over thirty month (OTM) bovine animals (or all animals if, under thirty month [UTM] and OTM cattle are not identified before stunning) in the lairage, at unloading or on transport vehicles due to humane reasons, the operator shall develop, implement and maintain an effective control system to collect brain tissues that has been externalized at the time of stunning. Leakage of brain tissue from the stun hole can be prevented using the CFIA approved methods. Refer to Chapter 17 Annex D for more details.
The previous requirements dealing with compromised bovine animals may not be applicable for all Canadian registered establishments. For example, it is not allowed to slaughter non-ambulatory cattle in those establishments that are eligible for export to United States. Refer to the appropriate section in Chapter 11 for additional details.
For the purpose of the surveillance of the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), some tissue samples might need to be taken on certain categories of bovines. Refer to Chapter 5 of this manual for a description of BSE surveillance targeted sampling procedures.
BSE suspects are to be condemned and are not permitted to proceed to the slaughter floor. Refer to Chapter 5 of this manual and consult the Animal Health District Veterinarian for guidance if a BSE suspect is found at ante mortem inspection.
126.96.36.199 Additional Ante-Mortem Procedures Related to Equine
Refer to Annex F of this chapter.
188.8.131.52 Tracking Animals Condemned at Ante-Mortem Inspection until Disposal
When an animal is condemned during ante-mortem inspection by the CFIA, it shall be identified by a tag or other device showing the word CONDEMNED or any other method accepted by the Veterinarian in Charge. In addition, full details (animal identification and permanent ID where applicable, owner's name and address, reason for condemnation), should be entered on the ante-mortem veterinary inspection report (CFIA/ACIA 1438) or equivalent in-house form.
Condemned animal shall be euthanized (see Chapter 12) and transported to the inedible section of the establishment.
All animals found dead are to be recorded and sent for rendering. Condemned animals, carcasses of such animals and found dead are not permitted to pass through the slaughter floor or other edible areas of the establishment.
Refer to Chapter 6 for information on the control applicable to inedible products, including denaturing procedures for carcasses of animals found dead or condemned at ante-mortem.
Additional measures must be adopted by operators to ensure removal of SRM from inedible material intended for animal feed, pet foods and fertilizers and their appropriate disposal. Refer to Annex D of this chapter for further information on removal and disposal of SRM.
Refer to Chapter 12 of this manual regarding animal welfare in registered establishments.
Under certain circumstances, the operator may wish to remove some animals from a federally registered establishment without being slaughtered. It is important to note that no food animal shall be removed from a registered establishment without the written consent of an official veterinarian. According to section 43 of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 (MIR), the operator is responsible to ask the VIC for a written authorisation before the animals leave the facility or to keep the animal(s) in the registered establishment for more than one week.
Animals imported for slaughter only may not leave the slaughter system as they do not meet live animal importation requirements and must be handled/housed as per subsection 12 (5) of the Health of Animals Regulations.
As per section 177 of the Health of Animals Regulations every operator will ensure that all cattle, bison and sheep leaving the facility bear an approved tag that allows the animal to be traced back to its farm of origin for tracibility purposes and will keep records reporting any deaths. Should an animal destined for further transport die at the Federal Establishment, the operator, as per section 187 of the Health of Animals Regulations:
- 1. a) may remove the approved tag from the carcass; and
- b) shall report the number of the approved tag to the administrator within thirty days after disposing of the carcass.
- 2. In the case where an animal is not bearing an approved tag, the operator shall:
- a) collect enough information about the origin of the animal or carcass to enable the origin to be traced, including, if it is known by that person
- (i) the farm, ranch or other place from which the carcass was removed and the date when the carcass was removed from that place, and
- (ii) the name and address of the owner or person having the possession, care or control of the carcass when it was removed from that place; and
- b) report that information to the administrator within thirty days after disposing of the carcass.
- Date modified: