Current federal law requires farmers who raise and sell meat livestock to use either a USDA-inspected slaughterhouse facility or a state-inspected facility that meets the USDA standards. The USDA regulations are very expensive and geared towards large-scale operations, which is why we have so few small federal or state-inspected slaughterhouses.
Lack of inspected slaughterhouses is one of the biggest barriers for small-scale livestock producers. The lack of reasonable access to a slaughterhouse keeps some farmers from selling their meat at all. But a bill called the PRIME Act has been under consideration in Congress for some time. FARFA is working to ensure passage of this bill, and the following alerts will keep you up-to-date on its progress.