Introduction to meat and game processing

Find information about the requirements you need to meet if you process, sell, or import meat products in New Zealand.


Meat processors – definitions

Use these definitions to help you identify which type of meat processor or retailer you are. Each definition directs you to the requirements you need to meet.

Animal material depots

You operate an animal material depot if you temporarily hold animal material prior to it being transferred to a primary processor who will process it for human consumption.

Primary meat processors

You are a primary processor if you do one of the following:

  • slaughter and dress mammals or birds
  • remove, extract, or harvest animal material from live mammals or birds for the purpose of human or animal consumption.

Find out more about requirements for primary meat processors

Hunters undertaking these processes should refer to the requirements for homekill, game, and wild food.

If you process petfood or poultry, there are requirements you need to meet. Find out more:

Secondary meat processors

You are a secondary processor if you process animal product at any stage beyond primary processing. Retail butchers and smallgoods processors are examples of secondary meat processors.

Dual operator butchers

You are a dual operator if you

  • operate a retail butchery that processes and/or sells regulated animal products
  • process homekill or recreational catch at the same premises or place as your retail butchery.

Find out more about requirements for dual operators

Meat at stalls

This includes anyone selling raw red meat, processed meat, or ready-to-eat processed meat at a stall. If you sell meat at a stall, you probably need to follow the requirements of the Food Act 2014. Find out more: 

Homekill, game, and wild foods

There is a different set of requirements you need to meet if you

  • are a homekill or recreational catch service provider
  • operate as a game estate
  • are a commercial hunter or certified wild food or game supplier.

Read about the requirements for homekill, game, and wild food

Importing meat into New Zealand

If you import meat products to New Zealand for sale or processing, you need to meet requirements under the Food Act 2014. Find out more about importing requirements:

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