PRIME bill reintroduced in House for local meat sales
Two U.S. House members have reintroduced their bipartisan bill they say will help small farms and ranches serve consumers.
Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Chellie Pingree of Maine say their PRIME (Processing Revival and Intrastate Meat Exemption) bill would give states freedom to permit intrastate distribution of custom-slaughtered meat to consumers and also restaurants, hotels, boarding houses and grocery stores.
Massie says federal inspection requirements make it difficult for people to buy food from their trusted, local farmers. Pingree says it’s not appropriate to ask a local farmer to drive hours to get to a USDA-inspected processing facility to turn a profit.
There IS an exemption in the law but only for the slaughter of animals for personal, household, guest or employee use.
Pingree says local farms need “scale-appropriate” regulations in order to compete.
Co-sponsors include Justin Amash of Michigan, Steve King of Iowa and Mark Green of Tennessee.
Massie owns 50 head of cattle on his “off the grid” northeast Kentucky farm. Pingree raises grass-fed beef and chickens on her organic island farm in New Haven, Maine.