The following is for general information purposes only. All further queries regarding this information should be directed to the competent authorities listed below.

Competent Authority
Depending on their throughput abattoirs operating in Ireland must be approved by one of two relevant bodies.

  • High throughput establishments are supervised by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
  • Lower throughput plants are supervised by the local authority of the area in which they are based.

The European Communities (Food and Feed Hygiene) Regulations 2009 give detailed information on throughput levels as well as the legal requirements for meat establishments seeking approval. Statutory instrument 432 of 2009 gives the Regulations further effect in Irish law and can be found at the following link:

European Communities (Food and Feed hygiene) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No 432 of 2009)

Please find relevant links below to more information on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and the list of local authorities on the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government website.

Procedures for applying for an abattoir licence in Ireland

Where the local authority is the relevant body the service provider is advised to submit plans to them prior to construction.

Plans should include layout, services and other structural details along with hazard analysis critical control point procedures/food safety plans etc. Once these are approved and the premises constructed a conditional approval is issued to allow the service provider to begin activity.

If the plant is being run satisfactorily final approval is issued within 3-6 months. The procedures for approval of premises are set down in standard operating procedures which are agreed with the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), the relevant national body.

While the local authority issues the approval the actual approval number which the abattoir needs to operate is allocated to the local authority by the FSAI.

Other procedures/formalities a provider of such a service may have to comply with in order to exercise the service activity include: If an abattoir is being newly established planning permission would be necessary prior to approval and environmental concerns would also have to be addressed. These would both be dealt with by different sections within the local authority.

An approved plant in any EU country can supply to Ireland without having to establish/make an application locally. Please find link below to approved food establishments on the Food Safety Authority of Ireland website below.

Approved Food Establishments

As mentioned above, the application process for higher throughput establishments is handled by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAFF). The procedure is similar to that of the local authorities as all competent authorities involved in the supervision of meat establishments operate under service contract to the FSAI. However, DAFF assigns its own approval numbers.

Contact Details
Please find below relevant contact details for the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and local authorities in the links below on the Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s website.

Contact details

Relevant Links

European Communities (Food and Feed hygiene) Regulations 2009 (S.I. No 432 of 2009)