Off-farm deadstock licensing requirements
Learn about Regulation 105/09 and the licensing requirements for livestock that die off-farm.
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A natural consequence of livestock production is the animal mortalities caused by disease or infirmity.
The collectors and processors of dead farmed animals play an important role in ensuring the proper disposal of animals that die off-farm and mortalities that farm operators choose not to dispose of on their farms.
The proper management of dead animals is crucial to maintaining public confidence in Ontario's food production and food safety systems.
This document is not a description of all the requirements contained in O. Reg. 105/09, and the regulation itself must be read to determine all such requirements. If there is a conflict between the FSQA or O. Reg. 105/09 and this document, the Food Quality and Safety Act, 2001 and O. Reg. 105/09 govern.
Stakeholders should seek their own legal advice if they have concerns about the requirements or applicability of O. Reg. 105/09, or about the requirements or applicability of any other Act, regulation or policy mentioned in this document.
About Regulation 105/09
Another critically important function of the regulation is to ensure that livestock that die off-farm, or are disposed of off-farm, are disposed of in a manner that protects human and animal health and minimizes environmental impacts.
Regulation 105/09 governs the off-farm disposal of deadstock and mortalities occurring off-farm. For the purposes of licensees, deadstock animals are alpacas, bison, cattle, deer, elk, goats, llamas, sheep, yaks, horses, ponies, donkeys, pigs and other porcine animals, ratites, rabbits and poultry. Poultry means chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, guinea fowl, quail, pigeons, partridges and pheasants. Hybrids of any of these animals are also deadstock.
The regulation specifies:
- who may collect or receive deadstock for disposal
- who must be licensed
- who sets out the methods of disposal
The regulation requires anyone in the business of collecting deadstock to be licensed, such as:
- anyone who receives deadstock for the purposes of salvaging meat from carcasses, feeding carcasses to captive wildlife, rendering, composting or storing and shipping
- anyone in the business of receiving and distributing meat obtained from deadstock
Who needs a licence
The following is a brief description of the persons who are required to be licensed and some of their responsibilities.
Any person in the business of collecting and transporting deadstock must be licensed and meet the standard requirements for vehicles and proper transport.
Proof of a collector's licence must be displayed in the windshield in the form of a decal issued by the ministry or a copy of valid collector's licence.
Collectors may only deliver the dead animals they collect to:
- deadstock disposal facilities with licensed operators
- transfer stations
- salvaging facilities
- composting facilities
- rendering facilities
- an approved waste disposal site
- an equivalent facility outside Ontario that may legally accept the dead animals
Under the regulations, a collector's licence is required by any person that transports any dead animal from one licensee:
- to another licensee
- to an approved waste disposal site
- an equivalent facility outside of Ontario
Except in specified circumstances, only collectors and Environmental Protection Act (EPA) approved waste carriers may transport unfinished compost from a composting disposal facility to an EPA approved waste disposal site.
Information on the licensing requirements and the responsibilities of collectors is available by contacting the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Agricultural Information Contact Centre (AICC) at
Any person that operates a site to receive deadstock for the sole purpose of temporarily storing the carcasses before sending them to a permitted disposal destination is required to be licensed.
Generally, transfer stations are required to ship any dead animals received within 24 hours of delivery. Dead animals may be kept at transfer stations if stored under refrigerated or frozen conditions.
Shipments from a transfer station must be transported by a licensed collector.
Complete information on the licensing requirements and the responsibilities of operators of transfer stations is available by contacting the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Agricultural Information Contact Centre (AICC) at
Any person who receives deadstock for the purpose of feeding the carcasses to captive wildlife kept at a captive wildlife establishment or for the purpose of salvaging the meat from the carcasses is required to be licensed. Meat salvaged from dead animals may be fed to animals or used for wildlife baiting or sold for these purposes.
To ensure the meat obtained from dead animals is not used for human food, any meat that is sold is required to be denatured and labelled.
The regulation also prescribes packaging and portion sizes.
Complete information on the licensing requirements and the responsibilities of operators of salvaging facilities is available by contacting the ministry's dead animal disposal advisor or by reading Regulation 105/09.
Any person engaged in the business of obtaining and re-distributing meat salvaged from deadstock in a raw form continues to be required to be licensed as a broker.
Any meat from dead animals that a broker distributes that is altered in any way must be denatured, packaged and labelled in accordance with the regulation.
Complete information on the licensing requirements and the responsibilities of brokers is available by contacting the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Agricultural Information Contact Centre (AICC) at
Any person who operates a facility that receives deadstock for the purpose of rendering the carcasses or parts of carcasses by heating to produce rendered products is required to be licensed. Rendered products include fats and meals.
Complete information on the licensing requirements and the responsibilities of operators of rendering facilities is available by contacting the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Agricultural Information Contact Centre (AICC) at
Any person who receives deadstock for the purpose of composting is required to be licensed. EPA approved waste disposal sites that are permitted to accept and compost deadstock for composting are exempt from the FSQA regulation.
As a reminder to Food Safety Quality Act. 2001, Regulation 105/09 licensees and potential licensees, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) requires a permit to be issued to anyone involved in transporting, receiving, processing (harvest - salvage), containment and destruction of bovine (cattle) deadstock in Ontario. For more information contact the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
Regulation 105/09 sets out extensive standards and requirements for deadstock composting facilities. The regulation provides operators with flexibility in initial composting and curing methods. The siting, facility and operational standards and requirements are designed to ensure deadstock is composted in a manner that:
- minimizes the attraction of scavengers and pests, controls odours
- protects surface and ground water
The operational requirements and finished product standards require operators to ensure:
- carcass destruction is completed
- finished compost does not exceed the maximum tolerance standards for pathogens, foreign materials and uncomposted residue
Operators of compost facilities who wish to dispose of materials undergoing composting must do so in accordance with the regulation. The regulation specifies the permitted destinations of such materials and by whom they may be transported.
Complete information on the licensing requirements and the responsibilities of operators of composting facilities is available by contacting the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Agricultural Information Contact Centre (AICC) at
Licensee record keeping
Records are to be kept for at least three years by:
- collectors, of every dead animal collected and its disposal and the record shall be kept in the transporting vehicle while a dead animal is being transported
- operators of transfer stations, salvaging facilities, rendering facilities and composting facilities, of every dead animal received and its disposal
- brokers of each unit of meat derived from a dead animal that is received and its disposal
Operators of composting facilities are required to keep additional records specified in the regulation.
Complete information on the record keeping requirements and the responsibilities of licensees is available by contacting the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Agricultural Information Contact Centre (AICC) at
How to get a licence
All applicants are required to provide:
- a completed licence application form that includes contact and other business information specified in the Regulation
- any other information needed to determine an applicant's eligibility for a licence
Anyone wishing to obtain a permit under Regulation 105/09 can contact the Agricultural Information Center of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs at
After submitting your application, an employee of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) will contact you to verify the information provided and, if necessary, arrange for an inspection of your vehicle (s) and facilities.
OMAFRA works to respond quickly to license applications from dead animal collectors and disposal facility operators. In general, it takes two to four weeks to receive a permit issued under Regulation 105/09.
Applicants for a licence to operate as a collector are required to:
- provide vehicle information, including plate numbers
- certify the vehicles, trailers and transport containers used to transport deadstock meet the vehicle requirements specified in the regulation
Facility or transfer station licence
Applicants for a licence to operate a composting facility, salvaging facility, rendering facility or transfer station are required to prepare and forward:
- maps, plans, specifications
- any written procedures specified in the regulation
Renew a licence
A licensee should apply for the renewal of a licence at least 60 days immediately before its expiry if the licensee wishes the licence to be deemed to continue beyond its expiry, where the director has not made a determination to renew the licence before its expiry.