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Poultry Slaughter General Information

Introduction

Rules and regulations regarding poultry are complex, involve a number of governmental agencies and can easily become confusing. This document was designed to help individuals who raise, slaughter, process or sell poultry understand what rules and regulations may apply.
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What governmental agencies are responsible for regulating poultry?

ODA - The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), Food Safety Program requires any firm that slaughters poultry or processes food containing poultry to first obtain a license with the ODA. However, House Bill 2872 (The Poultry Bill) creates a licensing exemption for individuals who slaughter no more than 1,000 poultry anually and meet other requirements outlined in the Poultry Bill FAQ. All other poultry processors and sellers are required to have a license from the ODA, Food Safety Program. Based on gross annual sales, license fees range between $216 and $704 (ORS 603.025). Unless a firm operates under the Poultry Bill exemption, the ODA must be contacted prior to slaughtering, processing or selling poultry. Please contact Will Fargo at (503) 432-7092 with any poultry questions.

USDA
- The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has primary jurisdiction over firms that slaughter poultry or process food containing poultry. The USDA never requires licensing. Instead, poultry firms are required to obtain USDA grant of inspection and receive continuous USDA oversight of production. However, many poultry firms are exempt from continuous USDA inspection (see below). Prior to slaughtering poultry or processing food containing poultry, the USDA must be contacted at (503) 399-5643.

DEQ -
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regulates waste discharge in Oregon. Up to 20-tons (40,000 pounds) of slaughter and processing waste can be composted on-site anually without a permit as long as the composting process does not adversly affect surface or ground water. If waste is disposed of at permitted landfills or into sanitary sewer systems then firms raising, slaughtering or processing poultry does not need to contact the DEQ or ODA regarding waste disposal.

If waste is applied to crops or land then a permit may be required. T
he DEQ delegates the ODA, Natural Resources Department (NRD) Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) to issue permits to firms who apply liquid animal waste (from raising, slaughtering or processing) to agricultural land. Additionally, the ODA, NRD Water Quality Program helps ensure that Oregon's agricultural operations comply with the Clean Water Act and the Oregon Agricultural Water Quality Management Act. Prior to treating wastewater on-site, firms must contact the DEQ at (503) 229-5696. Prior to land application of liquid waste, firms must contact the ODA, NRD at (503) 986-4700.
Local Government - In addition to complying with USDA, ODA and DEQ requirements, firms that raise, slaughter or process poultry must comply with local requirements. Local governmental agencies that may have authority over poultry operations include city planning, county planning, county on-site septic and the local Fire Marshall. It is important that poultry firms contact their local government prior to operation to ensure their proposed activities are in compliance.



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What firms are exempt from continuous USDA inspection?

Many small poultry firms are exempt from continuous USDA inspection. These firms qualify to operate without continuous USDA oversight of all slaughtering and processing activities and products produced by these firms do not bear an official seal of inspection. Firms that are exempt from continuous USDA inspection are not exempt from USDA oversight altogether, and are still subject to inspection as the USDA deems necessary.


If you slaughter or process poultry that is donated or sold for use as human food, and the operation does not qualify for an exemption from inspection, then you must contact the USDA at (503) 399-5643 to obtain a grant of inspection. Because the poultry exemption categories are complicated, please contact the USDA if you have any questions.
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What firms are exempt from ODA licensing?

- The ODA exempts poultry slaughter licensing requirements for individuals who slaughter their own poultry for their own personal consumption. 
House Bill 2872 (Poultry Bill) exempts firms from ODA licensing that slaughter no more than 1,000 poultry anually and meet other requirements. Specific requirements of the poultry bill are outlined in Administrative Rule under the Poultry Bill Administrative Rules (OAR 603-028-0710). Additional informations regarding the Poultry Bill can be found in the ODA Poultry Bill FAQ.
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Do I need an ODA license even though I am USDA federally exempt?


Unless you slaughter your own poultry for personal consumption or qualify under House Bill 2872 (The Poultry Bill), an ODA license is required. Specific requirements of the poultry bill are outlined in Administrative Rule under the Poultry Bill Administrative Rules (OAR 603-028-0710). Additional informations regarding the Poultry Bill can be found in the ODA Poultry Bill FAQ. An ODA license is required in all other cases, even cases where a firm is exempt from continuous USDA inspection. 
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What options do I have for slaughtering my poultry?

a. Slaughter your own poultry for personal consumption only (no license required).
b. Slaughter and sell no more than 1,000 poultry in accordance with House Bill 2872 (The Poultry Bill). Specific requirements of the poultry bill are outlined in Administrative Rule under the Poultry Bill Administrative Rules (OAR 603-028-0710). Additional informations regarding the Poultry Bill can be found in the ODA Poultry Bill FAQ. No license is required for poultry processed in accordance with The Poultry Bill.
c. Build your own licensed facility. 
d. Have the birds slaughtered at a licensed ODA poultry slaughter facility. You must first obtain a pre-packaged meat sellers license prior to transportporting poultry.
e. Have the birds slaughtered at a continuously inspected USDA facility. You must first obtain a pre-packaged meat sellers license prior to transporting poultry. 

To obtain the ODA license required in c., d. or e., contact Will Fargo at 503-232-1014
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Can I "open-air" slaughter in Oregon?

House Bill 2872 (The Poultry Bill) creates a licensing exemption for direct sales of no more than 1,000 birds anually. If the direct sales takes place at the poultry business, then minimal building and facilities such as open-air may be sufficient and a poultry processing building is not explicitly required. Poultry must be "reasonably" protected, which can be accomplished with a combination of a canopy, tarps and floor mats. Specific requirements of the poultry bill are outlined in Administrative Rule under the Poultry Bill Administrative Rules (OAR 603-028-0710). Additional informations regarding the Poultry Bill can be found in the ODA Poultry Bill FAQ.
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May I sell my slaughtered poultry at the farmers market?

Firms qualifying under the Poultry Bill may be eligible for poultry sales at farmers markets. However, even if a firm qualifies under House Bill 2872 (The Poultry Bill), poultry offered for sale at farmers markets must be processed at a facility that meets ODA building requirements for poultry processing (see Poultry Facility Construction Guidelines). Requirements at individual farmers' markets may vary. Please contact the farmers' market for their specific standards/rules. 
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Do I need to comply with waste disposal requirements?

Yes. A producer may compost up to 20-tons (40,000 pounds) of solid and liquid waste (blood, offal, feathers) without a permit from any agency of the State of Oregon. A producer who composts greater than the 20-ton limit or who wants to apply solid and/or liquid waste (blood, offal, feathers) directly to the surface of the land can call the ODA's Natural Resources Department at 503-986-4792 for further information and permit requirements that may apply to their specific situation. 


Who do I contact if I have questions about poultry slaughter?

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Additional poultry processing resources

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