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Responsible for the service Regional State Administrative Agency

Certificate of competency for the slaughter of animals and euthanasia of fur animals

  • Permit or other obligation
  • Nationwide except the Åland Islands
  • Public service

An animal may only be slaughtered or euthanised by a person who has sufficient knowledge of how to appropriately kill the species concerned and has sufficient skills to perform the procedure. The animal must be slaughtered or euthanised in a way that the animal does not experience any avoidable pain, discomfort or suffering. The animal protection legislation must be observed when slaughtering or euthanising animals.

Only a person who holds a competency certificate may carry out the following slaughter procedures (for example at a slaughterhouse):

  • Handling and care of animals before restricting their movement
  • Restricting the movement of animals for stunning or slaughtering
  • Stunning animals
  • Assessing the effectiveness of stunning
  • Suspending or lifting live animals
  • Bleeding of live animals
  • Slaughtering animals using special methods defined by religious rituals.

Euthanasia of fur animals must be carried out in the presence and under the direct supervision of a person who holds a competency certificate that has been issued to cover all activities under their control.

The Regional State Administrative Agency grants competency certificates. Provisional competency certificates are also issued by a veterinary inspector as well as the Regional State Administrative Agency. The competency certificate must outline which categories of animals, types of equipment and procedures of slaughter or euthanasia it covers.

A competency certificate is not required when poultry, rabbits or hares are not slaughtered in a slaughterhouse and they are for private consumption in a private household or on a small farm. In this case, the fresh meat must be delivered directly to the consumer or to local retailers who supply it directly to consumers.

Additionally, a competency certificate is not required when an owner of farm animals or a person under their responsibility and control is slaughtering animals outside the slaughterhouse for their own private consumption. However, commercial operators providing home slaughter services must hold a certificate of competency.

Do the following

If you intend to carry out animal slaughter or euthanasia of fur animals, follow these steps:

1. Learn about animal protection requirements for the slaughter and euthanasia of animals.

2. Participate in training that includes a final qualification on topics related to slaughter or euthanasia.

3. Fill out an application form for the competency certificate and submit the form along with a copy of a qualification issued by the training institution to the local Regional State Administrative Agency that you are resident in.

To whom and on what terms

In order to obtain a competency certificate, a person must demonstrate that they have passed an independent qualification test. The subjects of the qualification must be appropriate for the animal categories concerned and correspond to the slaughter and euthanasia procedures that are subject to the verification of the competency requirements. The following are considered to be acceptable qualifications:

  • Proof of suitable professional qualification
  • A certificate of completion of the relevant part or parts of the qualification
  • A certificate of completion of non-diploma vocational training ("tailored training").

More information on the training can be found on the Finnish National Agency for Education’s website ( or by contacting the educational institutions that organise the training directly.

Certificates of competency, including provisional certificates, may only be issued if the applicant has not committed a serious infringement of community or national animal protection legislation during the three years preceding the application for a certificate.

Provisional certificates may be issued provided that:

  • The applicant has registered for the above training
  • The applicant works in the presence of and under the direct supervision of a person holding a certificate of competency for the tasks to be performed
  • The applicant submits a written statement that they have not previously been awarded another provisional competency certificate in the same field or satisfies the authority that they have not been able to complete a training qualification.

A fee is charged for the service.

Fees are determined by the Government’s act on the Regional State Administrative Agency’s fees in 2019 and 2020.


Obtain a competency certificate well in advance before beginning the slaughter or euthanasia of animals.

Processing time

Processing time for the application is about one month.

Period of validity

The certificate is granted until further notice. The provisional certificate is valid for a maximum of three months. The Regional State Administrative Agency may revoke a competency certificate either fully or for a limited period of time from persons who no longer possess sufficient qualifications, knowledge or skills to carry out the activities for which the certificate was issued.

Basic information

The service is provided byRegional State Administrative Agency
Responsible for the serviceRegional State Administrative Agency
Area Whole Finland (except Åland)
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish
Text edited by: Regional State Administrative Agency
Updated: 11/19/2019