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Hog Carcass Grading Regulations

made under Section 166 of the

Agriculture and Marketing Act

R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 6

O.I.C. 67-220 (March 16, 1967, effective July 1, 1967), N.S. Reg. 5/67


1     These regulations may be cited as the Hog Carcass Grading Regulations.


2     In these regulations


                (a)    “Act” means Part XVII of the Agriculture and Marketing Act;


                (b)    “carcass” means a hog carcass;


                (c)    “consignor” means a person who, on his own account, or as an agent for any other person, ships or transports hogs by any means of transportation to an establishment or stock yard for slaughtering;


                (d)    “establishment” means any abattoir or slaughtering premises registered under the Meat Inspection Act (Canada) or any other premises approved by the Minister for the purpose of these regulations;


                (e)    “excess proportion of fat” means a degree of fatness necessitating an extensive trimming to achieve consumer acceptance;


                (f)    “grader” means a person appointed pursuant to the provisions of the Act for the purpose of grading hog carcasses;


                (g)    “hog carcass” means the carcass of an animal of the swine species including the head, leaflard, kidneys, tongue, tenderloins, tail, backbone, and feet;


                (h)    “Minister” means the Minister of Agriculture and Marketing;

[Note: Effective February 24, 2006, the reference to the Minister of Agriculture and Marketing should be read as a reference to the Minister of Agriculture in accordance with Order in Council 2006-121 under the Public Service Act, R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 376.]


                (i)     “operator” means a person operating an establishment.


3     (1)    Eleven grades for hog carcasses are hereby established with the following grade names:


                (a)    Canada Grade A,

                (b)    Canada Grade B,

                (c)    Canada Grade C,

                (d)    Canada Grade D,

                (e)    Canada Light,

                (f)    Canada Heavy,

                (g)    Canada Extra Heavy,

                (h)    Canada Ridgling,

                (i)     Canada Stag,

                (j)     Canada Sow-Class 1,

                (k)    Canada Sow-Class 2.


       (2)    The standards for hog carcasses established by subsection (1) are set forth in Schedule “A” attached hereto.


4     (1)    A grader may be assigned to an establishment by the Minister for the purpose of grading carcasses at that establishment if, in the opinion of the Minister, the establishment meets with the following conditions:


                (a)    no portion of the establishment is used as living quarters unless it is permanently and adequately separated, by floor, walls and ceilings of brick, concrete or similar material, from the remainder of the establishment and there is no direct or indirect access from such living quarters to any other part of the establishment;


                (b)    the establishment has artificial refrigeration operated by mechanical means of a type and capacity adequate to the needs of the establishment;


                (c)    the establishment is adequately lighted and ventilated, and all equipment is of such material and construction as will facilitate thorough cleansing;


                (d)    the water supply at each establishment is ample, clean and potable, there are adequate facilities for its protection against contamination and pollution, and there are facilities for providing an adequate supply of water having a temperature of at least 180o Fahrenheit for cleaning purposes;


                (e)    dressing room, lavatory and toilet accommodation are adequate, fully equipped and sanitary with satisfactory light and ventilation, and are entirely apart from any room or compartment used for the storage or production of food, and completely separate accommodations are provided for men and women;


                (f)    all outside doors, excluding loading doors, [and] all outside windows that are capable of being opened, are screened;


                (g)    all yards and pens used in connection with an establishment are suitably constructed and equipped; pens, alleyways and runways are hard surfaced and have adequate hose connection and drainage facilities for clean-up purposes;


                (h)    facilities for separating healthy animals from those showing symptoms of or suspected of being affected with disease are provided;


                (i)     satisfactory facilities for the tanking of inedible products are provided, and such facilities [are] situated in the inedible section of the establishment;


                (j)     tanks, fertilizer driers, and other equipment used in the preparation of inedible products are properly equipped with condensers and other appliances that will satisfactorily suppress odours incident to such preparation, and prevent them from entering the edible section of the establishment;


                (k)    the edible section and the inedible section of the establishment are separated;


                (l)     catch basins are not placed in rooms in which products are separated;


                (m)   all rooms in which meat products are prepared or placed are scraped, scrubbed or painted and all facilities necessary for cleansing are provided;


                (n)    all rooms are kept, as far as possible, free from steam and vapour; chill rooms and refrigerated rooms are kept free from excessive moisture;


                (o)    no meat product, and no ingredient used in the preparation of a meat product, is exposed to contamination or deterioration;


                (p)    all implements, utensils, equipment and containers used in any way in the preparation of meat products are cleansed before used;


                (q)    hog blood prepared for use in meat products is not defibrinated except by means approved by the Minister;


                (r)    dogs and cats are excluded from establishments;


                (s)    every practicable precaution, including vermin-proofing of buildings, is taken to maintain the establishment free of rats, mice, flies, cockroaches and other vermin;


                (t)     all knives, saws or other utensils that have been in contact with diseased or infected material are sterilized immediately after use;


                (u)    meat products distributed from the establishment are protected by coverings so as to afford adequate protection for the product against dust, dirt, insects and the like, having regard to the means intended to be employed in transporting the meat product from the establishment, the distance over which the meat product will be transported, and the destination of the meat product;


                (v)    the yards and pens are kept clean and are disinfected at least once each year;


                (w)   meat products are not transported from the establishment unless the railway cars, vehicles or other space in which they are to be transported have been cleaned and disinfected to the satisfaction of the Minister and are equipped for proper care and refrigeration;


                (x)    paper or other material is not used in direct contact with trimmings, organs and cuts frozen in blocks unless it is of a kind that does not disintegrate from exposure to moisture from meat products and remains intact so that it can be readily and completely removed from the meat product when defrosted and paper or other materials that may impart to [the] meat products any chemical or other objectionable substance used in its manufacture is not used;


                (y)    only mechanical means are used for testing casings with air, and care is taken to prevent the contamination of meat products with perspiration, hair, cosmetics, medicaments and the like;


                (z)    trucks and receptacles used for inedible meat products are of such materials and construction that they can be readily and thoroughly cleaned and bear some conspicuous and distinctive mark to show that they are used for inedible meat products and are not used for edible meat products;


                (aa)  except in the case of heavy equipment such as scalding tanks, all implements, utensils and equipment used in the establishment in the preparation of food products are made of a rust-resistant substance insofar as may be practicable;


                (bb)  yards or pens on the premises of the establishment are not used for the fattening of animals unless authorized by the Minister and no offal or other refuse is utilized on the premises for feeding purposes;


                (cc)  carcasses are thoroughly washed and cleaned before any incision is made for inspection or evisceration;


                (dd)  the pizzle is removed from all carcasses;


                (ee)  the sternum of each carcass [is] split and the abdominal and thoracic viscera removed at the time of slaughter;


                (ff)   no person affected with a communicable disease in a transmissible stage is engaged in handling or preparing any meat product, and every employee produces a medical certificate of health at any time if requested by the Minister and employees observe such general rules as to sanitation as are prescribed by the Minister;


                (gg)  coverings used by employees to protect their clothing or person are of material easily cleaned;


                (hh)  except as authorized by the Minister, no material from outside an establishment, other than fats, oils, bones, meat scraps and other material which is the residue of a meat product, is permitted entry into the inedible section; such fats, oils, bones, meat scraps and other material which is the residue of a meat product may be permitted entry only into the inedible section and then only if


                         (i)     they are from retail stores or commercial outlets or institutions,


                         (ii)    their receipt produces no insanitary condition on the premises, and


                         (iii)   they are not received in such volume as to interfere with the prompt disposal of inedible material produced at an establishment;


                (ii)    smoking and chewing tobacco or gum are not permitted in any room where exposed meat products are being prepared, processed or otherwise handled;


                (jj)    only germicides, insecticides, rodenticides, detergents or wetting agents or other similar material that have been approved by the Food Directorate, Health Canada are used in the establishment and are used in a manner satisfactory to the Veterinary Director General (Canada);


                (kk)  animals are slaughtered in accordance with the regulations under the Meat Inspection Act (Canada); and


                (ll)    all hair, scurf and dirt including all hoofs and claws, are removed from hog carcasses.


       (2)    The operator of an establishment shall make available to the grader engaged in grading carcasses at that establishment


                (a)    proper facilities for the efficient grading and branding of carcasses;


                (b)    a sufficient number of efficient helpers to assist the grader in the performance of his duties;


                (c)    arrangements whereby the grading may be done during reasonable working hours;


                (d)    suitable accommodations including the exclusive use of a room or rooms suitable for office purposes, together with such office and washroom fittings as may be required for the accommodation of the graders assigned to the establishment.


5     Subject to Section 8, a grader shall sign and issue a grade certificate for each carcass graded and no other person other than a grader shall sign a grade certificate.


6     No person shall use a grade certificate as a basis of settlement for a hog carcass other than for the carcass for which it was issued.


7     In grading a carcass, bruises or other marks shall not be taken into account except in cases of serious physical injury.


8     (1)    A grader shall not issue a grade certificate unless the consignor


                (a)    has placed a distinct and specific mark of identity approved by the Minister on each of the animals to be carcass graded which mark has been transferred to or otherwise appears on the carcass of such animal; and


                (b)    has completed and filed with the grader at the establishment within 24 hours after the delivery of the animal, or lot of animals, as the case may be, to the operator of the establishment a manifest in the form prescribed by Schedule “B” attached hereto.


       (2)    A grader shall not issue a grade certificate for any carcass where he believes on reasonable grounds that any provision of the Act or these regulations has been violated until such time as he is satisfied that such provision has been met.


9     (1)    Every grade certificate issued by a grader shall be in the form prescribed by Schedule “C” attached hereto.


       (2)    The grade certificate shall indicate any carcasses for which the grader is unable to assign a grade name as set out in Section 3.


10   All regulations respecting the grading of hog carcasses are rescinded.


11   These regulations shall come into force on the first day of July, 1967.


Schedule “A”


I      The standards for the grades of hog carcasses established by Section 3 of these regulations are as follows:


       1       Canada Grade A hog carcasses are hog carcasses having the following characteristics:


                (a)    choice quality and conformation, lengthy, and lean throughout;

                (b)    shoulder smooth and comparatively light in weight;

                (c)    belly well muscled with thick flank, uniform in width and free from seediness;

                (d)    ham heavily muscled and lean;

                (e)    back fat comparatively uniform in thickness, but not deficient;

                (f)    in addition to meeting back fat specifications, carcasses must be free of any thick deposits of fat;

                (g)    flesh firm, fine grained and bright in colour;

                (h)    fat firm and white; and

                (i)     skin smooth, and without extensive areas of dark hair roots or pigment.


       2       Canada Grade B hog carcasses are hog carcasses having the following characteristics:


                (a)    shoulder slightly heavy or slightly fat;

                (b)    belly slightly uneven, somewhat thin, wrinkled, fat, or wide and free from sponginess;

                (c)    ham a little thin or slightly fat;

                (d)    back fat slightly uneven or slightly deficient;

                (e)    fleshing reasonably firm, fine grained and bright in colour; and

                (f)    skin that is not rough, or coarse in texture.


       3       Canada Grade C hog carcasses are hog carcasses having the following characteristics:


                (a)    may be short, thick, heavy shouldered and round ribbed;

                (b)    there may be a greater degree of fat to lean and more unevenness of fat covering as compared to Canada Grade B;

                (c)    the fat may be slightly soft or slightly deficient; and

                (d)    carcasses of young females of good quality with slight mammary development may be included.


       4       Canada Grade D hog carcasses are hog carcasses which weigh less than 90 pounds, or are thin and underfinished, or have serious physical damage or injury, or are dark fleshed, rough, soft or oily.


       5       Canada Light hog carcasses are hog carcasses which have reasonably good quality; and are not very thin or rough.


       6       Canada Heavy hog carcasses are hog carcasses which have reasonably good quality; and are not very thin or rough.


       7       Canada Extra Heavy hog carcasses are hog carcasses which have reasonably good quality; and are not very thin or rough.


       8       Canada Ridgling hog carcasses are hog carcasses having one or more internal testicles, or are hermaphrodites.


       9       Canada Stag hog carcasses are hog carcasses from mature boars which have been castrated.


       10     Canada Sow - Class 1 carcasses are carcasses of female hogs with pronounced mammary development having good fleshing and finish throughout, with no excess proportion of fat, and no excessive waste in the underline, and are not thin or rough.


       11     Canada Sow - Class 2 carcasses are carcasses of females with pronounced mammary development which are not eligible for Sow - Class 1.


II     The weights and measurements for the grades for hog carcasses established by Section 3 of these regulations are as set out in the Table to this section.



Weight (1)


Maximum Shoulder Fat

Loin Fat


Canada Grade A

135 lbs. or over
but not over 150 lbs.

29 to 29 1/2 ins.

1 3/4 ins.

1 1/4 ins.



over 150 lbs.
but not over 170 lbs.

29 1/2 to 30 ins.

2 ins.

1 1/2 ins.


Canada Grade B

125 lbs. or over
but not over 150 lbs.

28 to 28 3/4 ins.

1 3/4 to 2 1/4 ins. according to weight

1 1/2 to 1 3/4 ins. according to weight



over 150 lbs.
but not over 180 lbs.

29 to 30 ins.

2 1/4 to 2 1/2 ins. according to weight

1 3/4 to 2 inches according to weight


Canada Grade C

125 lbs. or over
but not over 180 lbs.





Canada Grade D

all weights





Canada Light

90 lbs. or over but less than 125 lbs.





Canada Heavy

over 180 lbs. but not over 195 lbs.





Canada Extra Heavy

over 195 lbs.





Canada Ridgling

all weights





Canada Stag

all weights





Canada Sow Class 1

all weights





Canada Sow Class 2

all weights





III   The methods used for determining weights and measurements of carcasses shall be as follows:


       1       The carcass weights used to determine grade are warm weights taken at the time of slaughter.


       2       Measurement for the length of carcass is taken from the front edge of the first rib to the inside of the aitch bone.


       3       The fat measurement for maximum shoulder is taken at the point of maximum thickness, over the shoulder, not including any small fat infiltration into the lean.


       4       The fat measurement for maximum loins is taken at the point of maximum fat thickness between the last rib and the tail.


Schedule “B” - Shippers manifest of hogs for carcass grading

Destination                                                                      Shipping point                                  

Car No.                                                                            Date of shipment                               

                                                    Hog Producers

Farmer's Name and Address       Registration Number     Identification     Number Head





Shipper                                   Address                                              Grader                           


Schedule “C” - Hog Carcass Grading Certificate

Farmer's name and address                                                                                                        

Place and date of slaughter                                                                                                        

Shipper's name and address                                                                                                       


                                  Carcass Grade                           Number of Carcasses

Grade A                                                                                                                                     

Grade B                                                                                                                                     

Grade C                                                                                                                                     

Grade D                                                                                                                                     



Extra Heavy                                                                                                                              



Sow Class 1                                                                                                                              

Sow Class 2                                                                                                                              

Number for which grader

is unable to assign a grade

name included above