Legal Issues for Small-Scale Poultry Processors

Legal Issues for Small-Scale Poultry Processors

Legal Issues for Small-Scale Poultry Processors

Federal and State Inspection Requirements for On-Farm Poultry Production and Processing

Congress and the various state legislatures have adopted laws and regulations regarding the licensing of facilities where poultry are slaughtered or processed into products for human consumption, and the inspection of the birds themselves as they are processed. Congress and some state legislatures have also provided exemptions from these licensing and inspection requirements for small-scale processors. These exemptions have been made for two primary reasons. First, providing inspection officials at all places where poultry are slaughtered or processed would be very expensive and impractical. Second, subjecting small-scale processors to the requirements designed for large-scale facilities would also be inappropriate and burdensome for the producer.

This document will summarize the licensing and poultry processing inspection requirements for small-scale processors. This information can help small-scale processors comply with federal and state laws and regulations. The laws and regulations discussed in this document may change over time. Therefore, those interested in this subject should be vigilant in pursuing any changes which may have occurred in either the federal or state laws and regulations.

Want more information? See the related SARE grant(s) LS99-105, Enhancing Feasibility for Range Poultry Expansion .

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This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.