Personal Use and Processing of Livestock/Poultry in PEI

A Guide for Consumers and Farmers

Can I purchase (raw) unpasteurized milk directly from farmers?

No. The PEI Public Health Act has strict rules on the sale of unpasteurized milk and milk products from cows, goats, sheep, or other species prescribed in the regulations. Individuals or families cannot legally buy milk directly from farmers on PEI.

Can I raise chickens, roosters or other livestock in my yard? Does each municipality have rules regarding this?

There are many municipalities in PEI that do not permit backyard flocks or farming of livestock within their municipal boundaries. It is recommended to check with your municipal office. If permitted, you are required under the PEI Animal Health Act to apply for a Premises Identification Number

Can I purchase a goat, chicken or other animal from a farmer and slaughter it myself for my family to consume?

In accordance with the PEI Public Health Act Slaughter House Regulations, a person is not permitted to slaughter an animal for food except in a slaughter house. Only a farmer is permitted to slaughter one of their own animals on their own premises for their own use exclusively. The animal cannot be sold to the public or shared in a group setting (such as a community gathering/feast). There are numerous rules in place regarding where and how animal slaughter can be done.

I am a farmer who raises chickens/livestock. Do I need to make any authority aware when I want to slaughter an animal on my property for personal use? 

If you are a farmer, it is vital that the activity is performed humanely and with the health and safety of your family in mind. All animals MUST be slaughtered using a method that is acceptable under the PEI Animal Welfare Act. All individuals performing slaughter must be knowledgeable and skilled in the method being used to prevent suffering of the animal and injury to the butcher.

Information on acceptable slaughter methods and proper carcass disposal is available free of charge from:

  • Environmental Health: Telephone: (902) 368-4970; Toll Free: 1(800) 958-6400 or
  • Chief Veterinary Officer: 902-218-2665 or 902-368-4880.

Does an authority need to oversee the slaughter on my farm for my own personal use?

If a farmer is slaughtering an animal for their own personal use and there is no prohibition within their municipality, there is currently no requirement for an official to oversee the activity.

If I purchase an animal from a farmer, is there a farm or place where I can take an animal to slaughter it myself?

No.  A person is not permitted to slaughter an animal for food, except in a licensed slaughter house. In PEI, there is no space specifically designated for owner-slaughter of food animals outside their farm of origin. PEI has a number of licensed slaughter houses and inspected poultry processors across the province where slaughtering an animal is permitted by a slaughter house operator.

Published date: 
February 23, 2024

General Inquiries

Department of Agriculture
5th Floor, Jones Building
11 Kent Street,
P.O. Box 2000,
Charlottetown, PEI C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-4880
Fax: 902-368-4857

Follow us on X (formerly Twitter)

Agriculture Information Desk
1-866-PEI FARM (734-3276)