The advice sheets below have the latest information on animal health and welfare. If you need more advice call 01753 475111 (Enforcement & Regulatory option).
In the guide
If you take animals to an abattoir you must supply food chain information (FCI) before the animals can be accepted for slaughter
This guidance is for England
The food chain information (FCI) declaration is a document that is required to accompany cattle, calves, pigs, poultry, horses, sheep, goats and farmed game to slaughter at an abattoir for entry into the food chain.
EU Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs requires slaughterhouse operators to request FCI declarations to ensure animals entering the food chain are safe for human consumption. Slaughterhouse operators are required to act upon any information recorded on the FCI declaration as part of their HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) plan. This helps to ensure that certain veterinary medicines or animals affected by disease do not enter the food chain.
Declarations from all previous keepers must be obtained if you have bought animals at market for onward consignment to a slaughterhouse.
Information on the FCI declaration will include individual and/or batch animal identification, veterinary medicines withdrawal periods, and the disease status of the animals going for slaughter.
The Food Standards Agency has created and published FCI model documents for cattle, calves, sheep and goats (opens in a new window), pigs (opens in a new window), poultry (opens in a new window), farmed game (opens in a new window) and equines (horses, ponies and donkeys) (opens in a new window).
Additional information will be required on the FCI declaration for those animals showing signs of disease, abnormality or conditions that may affect the safety of meat derived from them. This information is also contained within the model document.
There is no set format for how FCI declarations are to be received. Some slaughterhouses may have their own forms or use the model documents created by the Food Standards Agency. It is suggested you contact your slaughterhouse operator prior to taking any animals to slaughter so you can establish which FCI format to use.
In the case of sheep and goats, the FCI declaration and additional information has been incorporated into the animal movement licence (ARAMS-1) (opens in a new window) form. Use of the ARAMS-1 form, either in paper or electronic format, is one means of providing FCI for sheep and goats but other methods may be used that best suit slaughterhouse operators' business needs.
It is the responsibility of slaughterhouse operators to inform their suppliers about the exact FCI declarations they require and of the format in which they wish to receive them.
The eAML2 (opens in a new window) is the electronic version of the pig movement licence (AML2) and has replaced the AML2 paper form. It combines the AML2 and FCI paper forms that are required when moving pigs to slaughter.
FCI declarations can accompany your animals to slaughter. They may also be submitted to the slaughterhouse 24 hours in advance. This may be helpful for the slaughterhouse in identifying anything contained within the FCI declaration that may affect the normal operation of the business.
If animals arrive at the slaughterhouse without a FCI declaration, the official veterinarian (OV) must be notified. The OV will decide whether slaughter may or may not take place without a FCI declaration. Carcases of animals slaughtered without a FCI declaration will not be approved for human consumption until the FCI declaration is received.
If you buy animals at market for onward consignment to a slaughterhouse, FCI declarations must be obtained from all previous keepers to ensure the conditions on the FCI declaration form submitted to the slaughterhouse operator can be met.
These declarations should have been collected by the market and may be stated on its paperwork. If in doubt then please check with the market.
The Food Standards Agency website has a model FCI declaration (opens in a new window) document for those animals bought at market for onward consignment to a slaughterhouse.
Similarly, if you send animals to a market and there is a likelihood they will go for slaughter you must supply a FCI declaration.
Food business operators must comply with the requirements of section 3 of annex II of EU Regulation (EC) No 853/2004, including ensuring all slaughtered animals are accompanied by a FCI declaration. Failure to do so is an offence under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013. The maximum penalty is a fine and two years' imprisonment.
Last reviewed / updated: August 2017
This information is intended for guidance; only the courts can give an authoritative interpretation of the law.
The guide's 'Key legislation' links may only show the original version of the legislation, although some amending legislation is linked to separately where it is directly related to the content of a guide. Information on amendments to UK legislation can be found on each link's 'More Resources' tab; amendments to EU legislation are usually incorporated into the text.