In the United States the slaughter and processing of meat sold in the marketplace must take place at a state or federally-inspected facility. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, or FSIS, is responsible for this important task. While these requirements are important for protecting the public’s health, they can create challenges for farmers, ranchers, and processors looking to do business.
For example, small livestock producers are finding it hard (and at times, cost prohibitive) to transport their livestock the long distances necessary to the closest FSIS-inspected slaughter facility. This is especially troubling to producers at a time when markets for locally grown and specialty products are becoming more and more profitable. FSIS-inspected “mobile slaughter units” provide a feasible option for small red meat and poultry producers wanting to provide safe, wholesome product to local and interstate markets. Read more »