Thursday, August 10, 2006

Interstate Shipment of State-Inspected Meat

If enacted, Senate Bill 3519 would allow interstate sales of state-inspected meat and poultry products. The current law prohibits state-inspected products (beef, poultry, pork, lamb, and goat) from being sold in interstate commerce. Whereas foreign-inspected product can be sold anywhere in the U.S. so long as that country's meat inspection service is equivalent to U.S. standards. The current law also allows meats such as venison, pheasant, quail, and rabbit to be sold across state borders.

S. 3519 would resolve a basic issue of inequality that has existed since 1967 and allow interstate shipment of state-inspected meat and poultry. The bill is supported by the American Sheep Industry Association, American Meat Goat Association, and numerous other livestock organizations.

Twenty-eight states (not Maryland) have their own meat and poultry inspection programs, serving about 2,200 small business establishments nationwide. S. 3519 would create more market opportunities for farmers and ranchers and would ensure fairness in trade.

Agriculture Small Business Opportunity and Enhancement Act of 2006
List of states with state meat inspection programs
List of states without state meat inspection programs

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