In a reversal of previous regulations, the Oregon House of Representatives passed a bill allowing small farms to butcher animals on their premises. Previous regulations required small farmers to transport livestock to Oregon Department of Agriculture approved processing plants. This transportation is not only time-consuming, but can be prohibitively expensive for small farmers who don’t have ready access to plants in the state. Costs include crating, transportation, and most importantly, time spent going to and from processing plants.
The recently passed bill allows small farmers to butcher their own livestock and sell directly to local consumers. These small farms would not face inspection by the ODA, but would be held to the same standards that processing plants currently face. The proposed legislation would not only free small farmers from strict regulation, but would save them money in a tough economy.
Few people are worried about the impact of this deregulation. Small farmers are confident that transparency would guarantee quality products and protect consumers. By selling directly to their neighbors, they argue that their customers would be their inspectors. Consumers have also expressed support for the idea, praising their newfound ability to know where their food is produced.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer