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Meat Processor

Meat processors carry out a variety of tasks in the processing of animals for local and overseas markets. The animals processed may include sheep, cattle, deer, pigs and goats.


Tasks & duties

Meat processors may do some or all of the following depending on the size, workload and requirements of the plant:

  • make animals unconscious with a stunning device
  • cut the animal's throat
  • remove blood, skin, head, feet and insides of the animal
  • wash the carcass
  • cut up the carcass
  • process parts of the carcass
  • process the animal skins and pelts (known as the fellmongery process)
  • carry out quality control checks


Skills & knowledge

Meat processors need to have:

  • skills in handling animals and animal carcasses
  • knife-handling skills, including the ability to use and care for knives
  • knowledge of occupational safety and health laws, food safety laws, and Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry requirements


Entry requirements

There are no specific entry requirements to become a meat processor, although butchery courses are useful.


Training on the job

Meat processors gain skills on the job, and training courses are available in areas such as first aid, safety and fork-lift driving. Meat processors can work towards a range of national certificates in meat processing gained through the NZ Industry Training Organisation.


Useful experience

Useful experience for meat processors includes farm work and work in a butchery or food and dairy manufacturing factories.


Related courses

Food Hygiene


For more information, please refer to Career Services.

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