Small poultry farmers grapple with lack of slaughterhouses: Producers in Oregon and beyond can’t find places to butcher chickens (by Carla A. Wise – High Country News)
EXCERPT: Nearly all the meat and poultry consumed in the U.S. today comes from just four companies that operate their own U.S. Department of Agriculture-inspected slaughterhouses. Of the few remaining USDA-inspected slaughterhouses that serve independent growers, only a handful process poultry. A federal exemption allows farmers who raise 20,000 birds or fewer annually to obtain a state license to butcher their poultry themselves and bypass USDA inspection. But that option is costly and time-consuming: The farmer has to navigate complex permitting requirements and meet both state and federal requirements.