Well this is pretty cool. A bill introduced into the House last month that would allow California and all other states to pass laws re-permitting the sale of meat processed by "custom" animal processing facilities directly to individuals, groceries and restaurants, a right we lost in 1967.
A "custom abattoir" is a facility inspected and licensed in order to operate but one that does not meet the federal guidelines of their fully licensed counterpart. The meat from these, the custom abattoir, may only be sold for personal, household, guest, and employee use as the law stands now.
This isn't something our little farm does much of by the way, though we have on occasion taken our pigs and sheep to Bar None Ranch on Tunitas Creek Rd and come home to fill our freezer with own meat. And this is meat we are legally are not allowed to resell. The meat gets an an ugly blue, edible "not for resale" stamp.
If the The Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption (PRIME) Act passes and California chooses to move forward with putting these reformed regulations in place, no more ugly blue "edible" stamp and potentially we could make use or sell meat we raised here at our little farm at the Loma Mar store when the old gal is up and running, which would be great. We might grow into this, we might not. But wouldn't it be cool if we had the option?
So primarily our interest in this bill passing is as consumers of the goods from our local meat producing farms, the Markegard Grass-fed and the TomKat folks. We would very much appreciate the benefit of being able to buy meat that has been legally processed in San Mateo County. Currently there are no USDA-inspected abattoir in our county. Hauling animals up to Marin County obviously adds significantly to the transportation cost, the distance is stressful to the animals and also increases the chance that meat raised locally will be co-mingled with industrially-produced meat-- yuck-o.
We are hoping to see this act move forward. Potentially the Prime Act, H. R. 3187, could make a big difference in access to our locally raised meat in the South Coast. Here's a link to follow the progress of this bill: