Code Section Group

Food and Agricultural Code - FAC


  ( Division 9 enacted by Stats. 1967, Ch. 15. )


  ( Part 3 enacted by Stats. 1967, Ch. 15. )

CHAPTER 5. Horsemeat and Pet Food [19200 - 19447]

  ( Chapter 5 added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 815. )

ARTICLE 8. General Provisions [19340 - 19358]
  ( Article 8 added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 815. )


No slaughterer shall own or control directly or indirectly, through stock ownership or control or otherwise, by himself or through his agents or employees, any interest in a person or company licensed to haul dead animals by Section 19320 unless his slaughterhouse is under state or federal inspection.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 815.)


No slaughterer shall pick up or receive any dead animal at his slaughterhouse except those which have died en route and such animals shall be transported directly and without delay to a licensed rendering establishment, however apparently healthy animals transported by a person other than a dead animal hauler, found to have just expired on arrival due to injuries during transportation may be immediately slaughtered under conditions specified by the secretary which will conform to the purposes of this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 187, Sec. 5. Effective January 1, 2005.)


Every establishment where animals are slaughtered for pet food, or where fresh or frozen pet food is processed or prepared shall be maintained and operated in a clean and sanitary manner.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 815.)


All fresh or frozen meat, meat byproducts, horsemeat, and horsemeat byproducts sold or offered for sale to the public as pet food shall conform to the standards of this chapter or regulations promulgated by the director.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 815.)


Any carcasses or parts or products of animals which are not intended for use as human food shall prior to their being offered for sale or transportation, be denatured or otherwise identified as prescribed by regulations of the director to prevent their use as human food. No person shall buy, sell, transport, or offer for sale or transportation or receive for transportation any carcasses, parts thereof, meat or meat food product of any such animals which are not intended for use as human food unless they are denatured or otherwise identified as required by the regulations of the director.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 815.)


The Legislature finds that the use in pet food of animals that died from reasons other than slaughtering and pet food prepared from diseased animals or not prepared under sanitary conditions creates a public health hazard to the citizens and animals of this state.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 815.)


(a) Unless a waiver is granted by the State Veterinarian in conjunction with implementation of Section 9562 or a declaration of a state of emergency or local emergency, as defined in subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 8558 of the Government Code, pursuant to the California Emergency Services Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 8550) of Division 1 of Title 2 of the Government Code), no dead animal hauler or any other person shall transport any dead animal to any place, other than to a licensed rendering plant, a licensed collection center, an animal disease diagnostic laboratory acceptable to the department, the nearest crematory, or to a destination in another state that has been approved for that purpose by the appropriate authorities in that state.

(b) The secretary may issue a master or individual permit to a licensed renderer, collection center, or dead animal hauler for the purpose of authorizing transport of a dead animal to an appropriately permitted landfill under either of the following circumstances:

(1) During a proclaimed state of emergency or local emergency, as defined in subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 8558 of the Government Code.

(2) When the licensed hauler has certification from a licensed renderer, that the licensed renderer cannot process the dead animal due to operational conditions or legal or regulatory requirements or constraints. The certification shall be in a form approved by the department and, for purposes of this paragraph, “licensed hauler” shall include licensed collection centers and renderers.

(c) Nothing in this section shall be interpreted to conflict with any state or federal environmental or zoning law, or to prohibit an owner of a live animal from burying the animal on the owner’s property after the animal dies if the burial is within three miles of where the animal died.

(d) Subdivision (a) does not apply to the Department of Transportation or to local agencies having jurisdiction over a road or highway when engaged in removing animal carcasses from the road or highway.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 280, Sec. 3. (AB 1249) Effective January 1, 2010.)


The State Veterinarian is authorized to approve temporary research projects for the purpose of determining whether alternative methods of animal tissue disposal are capable of destroying organisms that cause disease and can be used effectively to protect public health and agricultural animals. Temporary projects shall not be approved for a period longer than 24 months.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 130, Sec. 99. Effective January 1, 2008.)


Every person who transports a live horse or horses to a slaughterhouse subject to licensing under this chapter shall provide such horse or horses with adequate food and water. A violation of this section shall constitute cruelty to an animal within the meaning of Section 597a of the Penal Code.

(Added by Stats. 1972, Ch. 161.)


All trucks and every licensed premises of a dead animal hauler shall be inspected by the bureau at least once a year before the license is renewed and at other times as the secretary deems necessary.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 187, Sec. 7. Effective January 1, 2005.)


Vehicles used for dead animal hauling shall be completely unloaded, cleaned, and disinfected at the rendering plant.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 187, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 2005.)


Inspectors and duly authorized agents of the state, city, county, and city and county health departments shall have free access at all hours of operation to premises where animals are slaughtered, or horsemeat or other meat products are processed, prepared, packed for pet food, or offered for sale or sold, for purposes of inspection. If slaughtering or carcass preparation or processing of meats and meat products is conducted at hours considered overtime for state employees, or on legal holidays, the owner or operator of the establishment shall by contract or agreement with the department, make arrangement to defray the additional cost for salaries and expenses for persons employed by the department to conduct the necessary inspection work during the overtime periods.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 815.)


Horses, mules, burros, cattle, sheep, goats and swine may be slaughtered on the premises of a pet food slaughterer.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 815.)


A dead animal hauler shall register each vehicle used to transport dead animals with the bureau.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 187, Sec. 9. Effective January 1, 2005.)


No licensee shall refuse to permit entry or inspection by a representative of the department, or to permit the taking of a sample of products.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 815.)


No meat or meat byproduct or horsemeat or horsemeat byproduct shall be sold or offered for sale as pet food or for pet food purposes by any person under any name or other marking or labeling which is false or misleading, or in any container of a misleading form or size, but established trade names and other marking and labeling and containers which are not false or misleading and which are approved by the director, are permitted.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 815.)


All labels or other identification marks or methods for articles subject to this chapter shall be approved by the director in advance of their use.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 815.)


No person shall sell, transport, or offer for sale or transportation any meat or meat byproduct, horsemeat, or horsemeat byproduct subject to this article that is misbranded as prescribed by regulation of the director.

(Added by Stats. 1969, Ch. 815.)

FACFood and Agricultural Code - FAC8.