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January 7, 2022

Alberta offers Video Ante-Mortem Inspection

Livestock producers in Alberta now have the option of using video technology for ante-mortem inspections.

The province’s Video Ante-Mortem Inspection Program (VAMI) gives livestock producers the option to offer a humane death and ante-mortem inspection for animals that cannot be transported to a provincially-regulated abattoir.

VAMI can be used if an animal is unfit for transport, compromised and cannot be transported without additional suffering, is difficult to transport (cannot be loaded or transported without endangering itself, another animal, or a person), has escaped, or any other circumstances outlined by the Director.

VAMI is an option for domestic livestock including beef and diary cattle, bison, cervids, hogs, sheep, and goats.

Livestock producers interested in scheduling a VAMI must first make arrangements with a licensed abattoir operator participating in the program. These arrangements must include both the VAMI and a post-mortem inspection. The livestock producer can then submit a video for ante-mortem inspection through the online tool.

Approval for the slaughter must take place prior to the humane death.

After slaughter, the carcass can be transported to the pre-arranged, provincially-licensed abattoir for a post-mortem inspection.

If the animal passes both ante-mortem and post-mortem inspections, and the meat is deemed fit for human consumption, the meat can be sold.

While there is no cost to participate in the VAMI program itself, licensed abattoir operators may charge to accept and process the carcass, and in some cases, appointed inspectors may assist and may charge a fee for this service.

VAMI was enabled under the Alberta Meat Inspection Regulation effective January 4, 2022.

More Information on VAMI

Other options for emergency animals, via the Government of Alberta

The VAMI program may not be able to assist in all cases due to limited inspection resources or availability of licensed abattoirs. Also, for some cases, rural connectivity to the internet may limit participation in VAMI as an internet connection is required to access the online VAMI tool and submit a video. Alternative slaughter options available to producers include:

  • Appointed Inspector Program: registered veterinarians can act as inspectors in Alberta if they are licensed by the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association.
  • On-Farm Slaughter Operation (OFSO) licence: if the animal is situated on land belonging to an individual who also has an OFSO licence, the animal can be sold prior to slaughter then slaughtered. The meat resulting from this carcass is uninspected and is for consumption by the customer and the customer’s immediate household only. The uninspected meat cannot be further sold, traded, gifted, bartered or distributed.
  • Licensed Mobile Butcher: if the producer would like to salvage the meat for consumption by their household, a mobile butcher may be contacted to perform the slaughter onsite. The meat resulting from the carcass is uninspected and cannot be sold, traded, gifted, bartered or further distributed.
  • The producer: if an individual owns the animal and the land where it is located, they can slaughter the animal themselves without the need for a licence. The meat is uninspected and is for consumption by the producer’s household; it cannot be sold, traded, gifted, bartered or further distributed.
  • Euthanize the animal: the animal can be euthanized onsite without a licence, and parts of the carcass may be used for non-human consumption like bait or animal feed. All parts of the carcass that are not salvaged must be disposed of as per the Disposal of Dead Animal Regulation.

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