The FCI is a declaration 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 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.

In the guide

Contents of food chain information
Format of food chain information
AML1 - sheep and goat animal movement licence form
eAML2 - electronic movement licensing
When do I need to submit the food chain information?
Animals sent to slaughter from markets

Contents of food chain information

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 and for pigs, poultry and farmed game. There is currently no FCI model document for equines slaughtered for human consumption as this does not commonly occur in the UK. If you wish to slaughter an equine for human consumption please contact the slaughterhouse operator for guidance on how to submit an FCI declaration.

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.

Format of food chain information

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 to establish which FCI format to use.

AML1 - sheep and goat animal movement licence form

In the case of sheep and goats, the FCI declaration and additional information has been incorporated into the animal movement licence (AML1) form. Use of the AML1 form is one means of providing FCI for sheep and goats, but other methods may be used that best suit slaughterhouse operators' business needs. Please note that the current paper based system (AML1) is due to be replaced with an electronic system from April 2014 and this may have implications for FCI declarations. More information can be found on the consultation page of the GOV.UK website.

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.

eAML2 - electronic movement licensing

The eAML2 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.

When do I need to submit the food chain information?

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 if 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.

Animals sent to slaughter from markets

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 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 an FCI declaration.

Please note

This leaflet is not an authoritative interpretation of the law and is intended only for guidance. Any legislation referred to, while still current, may have been amended from the form in which it was originally enacted. Please contact us for further information.

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