April 6, 2007
April 6, 2007 - United States Rep. Ron Kind (Wis.) on Thursday, March 29, introduced legislation to expand the markets for meat processing businesses across the nation. H.R. 1760, The Expanding Markets for Small Meat Processors Act, would eliminate the ban on the interstate shipments of state-inspected meat (sheep, goat, beef, poultry and pork), allowing small meat processors to increase their business and grow local economies.
"These unfair restrictions are severely hindering this industry's ability to grow," Kind said. "Trusting other nations, but not our own states, to ship meat across borders just doesn't make sense. This bill will expand the market, increase competition and reduce prices for consumers."
Other agricultural commodities do not have these same restrictions. State-inspected milk, fruits, vegetables, grain and fish are all allowed free access to national markets.
Co-sponsors of the bill included David Obey (Wis.), Nancy Boyda (Kan.), Gwen Moore (Wis.), Jim Marshall (Ga.) and Tammy Baldwin (Wis.). The bill has been referred to the House Agriculture Committee.
Additional legislation is expected to be introduced on this topic. Reps. Earl Pomeroy (N.D.) and Roy Blunt (Mo.) are expected to introduce comprehensive legislation to allow interstate meat sales when the House returns from the Easter recess the week of April 16.
Senators Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Herb Kohl (Wis.) are expected to introduce legislation when the Senate returns from recess the week of April 9.
The American Sheep Industry Association has long-standing policy supporting interstate movement of state inspected meat. Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33