The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Meat and Poultry Inspection Division (MPID) announced a new clarification of on-farm poultry processing regulations.
Previously, a 1,000 poultry limit exemption was in place that allowed farmers to slaughter and process up to 1,000 healthy birds per calendar year on their own premises, provided that they raised the birds themselves and kept the resulting food products within the state of North Carolina. In addition, the poultry could be slaughtered without mandatory daily inspection. Now, an exemption has been created that raises the limit to 20,000 birds.
Farmers utilizing the exemption must still meet all regulatory requirements and keep detailed records of their compliance. "Our intent is to visit all on-farm processing locations in the state, and to conduct additional visits annually and as needed," said MPID Director Don Delozier. "This is not processing without inspection; the exemption simply means that farms are not required to be inspected daily." With the new regulation in place, and coupled with growing farmer and consumer interest in on-farm processing, the MPID said it expects to see an increase in home-grown poultry being sold in the state.