What We Heard report launched on Meat Security Rules

Residents interested in buying locally raised meat in the NWT are in support of the development of Meat Safety Regulations. That is one of the findings in the Department of Health and Social Services’ report, What We Heard: Development of Meat Safety Regulations Under the Public Health Act.

From December 15, 2021, to February 17, 2022, the Department of Health and Social Services asked for public feedback on regulations that allow locally-raised animals in the Northwest Territories to be purchased for meat or meat products. The regulations only apply to the slaughter and handling of privately-raised livestock in a pre-set location. The harvesting and sale of fish, wild game, and reindeer are regulated by other legislation.

The What We Heard report, released today, provides a summary of the views from business owners, indigenous governments, a non-profit organization, as well individuals. Among the responses, there were 12 written submissions and 32 comments on Facebook. Most written submissions supported the development of Meat Safety Regulations, as well as standards and other requirements to ensure safe handling practices are in place to protect public health.

This report, combined with the Department’s review of regulations in other jurisdictions, and additional policy research, will inform the development of Meat Safety Regulations which are targeted to be in place in 2023.

Before the Meat Safety Regulations come into force, the GNWT will develop operational standards and procedures, as well as training that will be offered to operators.

The development of Meat Safety Regulations supports the goals of the NWT Agriculture Strategy, The Business of Food: A Food Production Plan 2017-2022, and the 19th Legislative Assembly priority to increase food security through access to locally-produced and harvested food.


“Increasing food security through locally-produced and harvested food is a priority for our government. Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts on how to safely develop meat production in the NWT. We are committed to creating Meat Safety Regulations that will help bring sustainable, locally sourced meats to people of the Northwest Territories.”

– Julie Green, Secretary of Health and Social Services

Quick facts

  • The Meat Safety Regulations will not apply to the harvesting or sale of wild fish, game species, or reindeer. Existing federal and territorial legislation and any agreements which oversee the harvesting and sale of wild game, reindeer, and fish will still apply to those activities and products (eg, NWT Wildlife Act).
  • There are currently no federal or territorial slaughter facilities operating in the NWT, but there is interest in allowing on-farm processing and slaughter of meat.
  • The former Meat Inspection Regulations were repeated in 2009 when a new Public Health Act came into force. The lack of regulation currently prevents residents from starting meat production businesses.

Related links

For media requests, please contact:

Jeremy Bird

Manager, Communications

Health and Social Services

Government of the Northwest Territories


(867) 767-9052 ext. 49034

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