​Most food establishments that slaughter, process, or sell raw meat need some type of meat license. 

Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) exemptions

  • Individuals slaughtering or processing meat or poultry, for personal use, are exempt from licensing.
  • Classes on meat slaughter or processing where students are actively engaged in slaughtering or processing of their own meat are exempt from ODA licensing.
  • Poultry growers slaughtering no more than 1,000 poultry per year for direct retail sales are not required to obtain an ODA license.

Federal jurisdiction and inspection

  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has primary jurisdiction over most meat establishments.
  • With the exception of custom slaughtering, The Federal Meat Inspection Act requires all amenable species (cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules, and other equines) to be slaughtered under continuous FSIS inspection.
  • With the exception of custom slaughter and small firms, The Poultry Product Inspection Act requires that poultry (chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and other domesticated fowls) be slaughtered under continuous FSIS inspection.
  • Post-slaughter processing of meat and poultry products for wholesale sales is typically subject to continuous USDA inspection.

Waste disposal

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regulates waste discharge in Oregon. 

  • Slaughter and processing waste must be disposed of by a method approved by DEQ or the local health department having jurisdiction.
  • Up to 20 tons (40,000 pounds) of slaughter and processing waste can be composted on-site annually without a permit, as long as the composting process does not adversely affect surface or ground water. 

If waste is applied to crops or land, then a permit may be required. DEQ delegates the authority to ODA's Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) Program to issue permits to firms applying liquid animal waste (from raising, slaughtering, or processing) to agricultural land. 

  • Prior to treating wastewater on-site, firms must contact DEQ at (503) 229-5696. 
  • Prior to land application of liquid waste, firms must contact ODA's Natural Resources Program at (503) 986-4700. 

Local government

In addition to complying with USDA, ODA, and DEQ requirements, firms that raise, slaughter, or process meat animals must comply with local requirements. Local governmental agencies that may have authority over poultry operations include: 

  • City planning 
  • County planning 
  • County on-site septic
  • Local fire marshal
It is important that meat slaughter and processing firms contact their local government prior to operation to ensure their proposed activities are in compliance.


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ODA Food Code Fact Sheet # 6 Consumer Advisory

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ODA Food Code Fact Sheet # 7 Allergens


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Next step

Get a license application​​

More info from ODA​​

Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO)

Agricultural Water Quality​


Main Office
Food Safety
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-986-4720