Federated Farmers says the Food Bill currently before Parliament will increase the workload and costs of smaller butcheries.
The bill updates the 1981 Food Act , which covers all food for sale in New Zealand.
Rural butchers were told at their annual conference in Invercargill at the weekend that it will bring the smaller butcheries into line with the larger ones.
Larger dual butcheries - those with a retail shop at the front and separate farm-kill out the back - already comply with food safety regulations.
But the rural butchers' chair, Mike Hanson, says the bill will create more paperwork for stand-alone butchers, requiring them to record such things as temperature control for cooking and cooling.
"At the moment," he says, "if you run a small butcher's shop in a town or even a supermarket they don't really have any regulations for that."
Mr Hanson says it could mean another five or six hours' paperwork a week, plus extra costs for temperature control.