Wisconsin seeks USDA temporary exemption to federal meat inspection rule


Wisconsin seeks USDA temporary exemption to federal meat inspection rule

Wisconsin’s Ag Secretary has asked the USDA for a temporary exemption to help move meat to consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In a letter, Randy Romanski asked Food Safety and Inspection Service Regional Director James Borda to allow state-inspected meat to be sold or donated across state lines.

Romanski says an exemption would increase the amount of meat available to consumers and decrease the number of animals euthanized.

Romanski says his agency has shown the state meat and poultry inspection program is “at least equal” to federal requirements, and that Wisconsin has been a leading state in the Cooperative Interstate Shipment Program, which is considered the same as the federal inspection program.

The State Secretary says his staff has worked to identify state-inspected main street processors who may be willing to slaughter and process even an extra dozen animals a week to fill the need, and state meat inspectors are ready to provide additional slaughter inspection days.

Romanski says, “In Wisconsin, we want to do everything we can to keep our livestock, including cattle, hogs, and poultry, moving through the food supply chain, rather than being humanely euthanized. In a time when so many families are lacking access to nutritious, affordable food, we need to do all we can to put meat on consumers’ tables, whether it is purchased at the grocery store or received from a food pantry.”

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