Killing of animals

Certificates of competence to slaughter or kill animals

You need a certificate of competence to slaughter or kill animals from your nearest Regional State Administrative Agency if you 

  • perform tasks related to the killing of animals in a slaughterhouse or 
  • are responsible for the killing of animals on a fur farm.

Make sure to apply for your certificate well in advance of when you need it.

Reporting operations involving slaughtering or killing animals

You need to let the competent Regional State Administrative Agency know if you engage in operations related to the killing of animals and regularly slaughter large numbers of animals at the same time.

You need to file a notification if you, for example, habitually

  • kill large numbers of animals for their fur or
  • dispose of large numbers of hens that have ceased to lay eggs. 

You do not need to notify us about

  • slaughtering animals for human consumption or
  • occasionally putting down sick or injured animals on your farm.

Make sure to file your notification well in advance of engaging in operations that must be reported.

Animal welfare

Information on killing or slaughtering an animal

You are only allowed to kill an animal if you have sufficient skills and expertise:

  • sufficient knowledge on the killing methods of the animal species in question
  • sufficient skills to perform the measure
  • a certificate of competence in a slaughterhouse or fur farm.

An animal must be killed in such a way as to avoid any pain, distress and suffering possible.

The requirements determined in the Animal Welfare Act must be taken into consideration. The allowed killing and slaughtering methods for different animals have been set forth in the legislation.

Enforcement is the responsibility of local authority veterinary officers, who carry out inspections to ensure that the rules on killing and slaughtering animals are complied with.

Information on notifications

    1. For further information on killing animals, read the animal welfare regulations.
    2. Find out whether you need to have a certificate of competence to slaughter or kill animals.
    3. Prepare operating procedures where you describe how you conduct measures related to killing and slaughtering and how they are performed. Be prepared to provide the operating procedures for the supervisory authority to read.
    4. Fill in the form and send it to us. A link to the contact information of our registries and the forms are provided at the bottom of this page
    5. If you are killing fur animals, remember to submit an annual notification before the start of the derinding season.
    6. Also remember to notify us, if you terminate your activities or make essential changes to your operations.

Certificate of competence to slaughter or kill animals

We issue the certificates of competence in the Regional State Administrative Agency. 

In addition, the veterinary inspector can issue a temporary certificate of competence.

  1. For further information on killing animals, read the animal welfare regulations.
  2. Participate in training containing the topic areas related to slaughtering or killing. For more information, please refer to the Finnish National Agency for Education’s website.
  3. Complete the application form and send it to our registry. Append a copy of the diploma issued by the educational institute. A link to the contact information of our registries and the form are provided at the bottom of this page.

A certificate of competence to slaughter or kill animals can be issued, when you have successfully completed an independent final examination.

The topics of the degree or training must:

  • be suitable for the relevant animal classifications
  • handle the procedures which are used in slaughtering or killing fur animals 
  • correspond with the topic areas related to the requirements on verifying competence.
  • Submit your application by appending one of the following:
  • a certificate on the completion of a relevant professional degree
  • a certificate on the completion of relevant part or parts of a degree
  • a certificate on completion of non-degree professional further training (so-called adapted training).

For further information on available training, please refer to the Finnish National Agency for Education’s website or contact the institutions providing training in the field directly.

The certificate can be issued to a person who:

  • has successfully completed the independent final examination.
  • has not been found guilty of a serious violation of animal protection specified by an animal welfare organisation or national legislation for the three preceding years before applying for the certificate.

A certificate of competence to slaughter or kill animals is a decision of the Regional State Administrative Agency. 

The certificate states:

  • the animal classifications
  • the tools
  • the measures which are allowed when slaughtering an animal or killing a fur animal.

An inspection veterinarian in a slaughterhouse can issue temporary certificates of competence to slaughter or kill animals, if the requirements of a permanent certificate are not yet met.

A temporary certificate of competence can be issued, when:

  • you have registered yourself for the training mentioned above
  • you are working in the presence and immediate supervision of a person who has a certificate of competence to slaughter or kill animals issued for the task to be performed
  • you provide a written statement on the fact that you have not been previously issued another temporary certificate of competence to slaughter or kill animals in the same field or, you establish why you have been unable to complete the final examination.

The processing fee for a certificate is EUR 63. The same fee applies regardless of whether or not an application is successful.

We issue the certificate of competence to slaughter or kill animals to be valid until further notice. A temporary certificate is valid for a maximum period of three months. 

We can revoke the certificate of competence for a fixed period or revoke it completely for persons who no longer have the sufficient competence, skills or expertise to conduct the measures for which the certificate was issued.

No certificate of competence is required when you are slaughtering poultry, rabbits or hares 

  • outside of a slaughterhouse 
  • for your own consumption in a private household or on a farm 
  • in small amounts.

All of the above requirements must be met. The condition in such a case is also to deliver the meat directly to the end consumer or local retailers who will deliver it fresh to the end consumer.

A certificate of competence to slaughter or kill animals is also not required in a case where the owner of a production animal or a person working under his or her responsibility and supervision slaughters animals outside the slaughterhouse for personal consumption in a private household. 

A business operator who provides home slaughtering services still needs a certificate of competence to slaughter or kill animals.

Frequently asked questions

You need a certificate of competence to slaughter or kill animals, if you work with animals in a slaughterhouse at some point of the slaughtering process, all the way from the slaughterhouse barn to the bleeding of the animal.

So, you need a certificate when you perform the following procedures related to slaughtering:

  • handle or care for animals before they are restrained
  • restrain animals for the purpose of stunning or killing them
  • stun animals
  • assess the effect of stunning
  • shackle or hoist live animals
  • bleed live animals
  • slaughter animals by use of special methods prescribed by a religion.

Without a certificate of competence to slaughter or kill animals you are not allowed to perform the tasks mentioned above in a slaughterhouse.

If you provide slaughtering services at home, you are required to have a certificate of competence to slaughter or kill animals.

Fur animals must be killed in the presence and under the immediate supervision of a person who has been issued a certificate of competence to slaughter or kill animals. 

The certificate of competence to slaughter or kill animals must cover the methods of killing and the species of animals covered in the presence of this person.

Contact information of Regional State Administrative Agencies’ registries

Links to legal texts

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