Selling farm raised meat - State Laws : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I would like to find out what the laws are in my state (WA) in regards to selling home raised beef, pork or poultry. Where would I begin to find out this information? The FDA or the Department of Agriculture? Do you have to get some kind of liscense to do this? Different laws for each state? What about selling farm fresh eggs...same thing?

Yes, I have questions, (lots of them) so any information would be much appreciated!


-- Joy in Eastern WA (, April 12, 2002


The answer is likely to be both.

What I'd do is start with your local cooperative extension service agent and go from there. Every state has somewhat different laws and then there's the federal angle. I seem to recall there's a couple of folks on the Pasture Poultry list in Washington state who might be able to save you a few steps.


-- Alan (, April 12, 2002.

Sell the animal on the hoof, to 1,2,3,4 what ever number of people and sent the animal to the local slaughter. I used to work with a fella that had a few cattle and would sell 1/2s ,1/4s then the buyers would pick it up at the locker plant. That way he got the top price and we got some darn good eating beef at a good price. If you have good beef or pork folks will come back for more, when they run out. By that time you'll have more ready to go. The regulations you'd have to deal with by butchering at home would be just out of control. Unless of course you plan on investing some bucks and starting your own shop.

-- jack c (, April 12, 2002.

In Colorado you can sell the beef on the hoof to customers. You need to weigh the animal on a certified scale and charge whatever you have determined per pound, live weight. You can sell in quarters, halves or whole. Take it to a local locker to have it processed. This may or may not be a government inspected locker. But to sell on the hoof you are not required to be government inspected. We have sold to private customers for years. You just cannot sell meat out of your freezer or sell from the hanging weight. Also we cannot sell to restaurants without it being government inspected. Now that is Colorado, and I'm sure every state is different. Just be sure of the locker you do business with, this will be very important. Some lockers may cheat you out of meat(taking out a few packages of meat here and there, and sometimes getting someone else's beef). Just know your butcher well. If you would like to know more about how we have done this type of marketing, I would be happy to answer any questions you might have or at least try to.

-- Marilyn in CO (, April 12, 2002.

Hi Joy,

In our own research we have found that recently (this past summer), people here at farmers markets were able to sell USDA approved, fully frozen meat. The meat has to be processed at a USDA facility and frozen there and then can be sold to the public still frozen. That is here in King County WA. As someone already mentioned, you can sell a live animal and have the slaughter truck come and butcher and process the meat for the individual or also sell 1/2's or 1/4's and have them pick it up at the processing facility. I would check locally to see whet the regs are. There are probably web sites you can go to. Start with WSDA the green book for farmers market. It gives a bunch of info on selling eggs, meat etc. Hope this helps! Darlene

-- Darlene in W WA (, April 12, 2002.

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