For cattle producers across Oregon, one of the biggest challenges to overcome currently is the lack of meat inspection or procession options across the state. However, a bipartisan bill approved in last year’s legislative session looks to address that.
House Bill 4206 which took effect January 1st, 2021, authorized the state Department of Agriculture to adopt rules establishing a program of state inspection for processing for the sale of meat.
Tom Sharp, President of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association said having localized meat processing facilities and inspection capabilities is important. He noted not only will this help reduce the dependency Oregon producers have on the four major meat packing companies, but it will also provide relief for ranchers in very rural portions of the state.
“[They don’t] have a meat processing facility or even meat inspection capabilities by USDA in their locale, and so therefore, some of our ranching producers are having to transport hundreds of miles with livestock to an inspection or processing facilities.”
Sharp added by expanding meat processing and inspection capabilities, it will help with many logistical issues the Oregon beef industries currently face. He added that because of the pandemic, there is growing support, both at the state and federal level, to look at how things are currently done, and how processes can be improved for the cattle producer.
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