Interim study on interstate meat transport conducted
Cheyenne – During the Wyoming Board of Agriculture conference call on July 9, Wyoming Department of Agriculture (WDA) Deputy Director Doug Miyamoto updated attendees on the developments of the study bill for interstate meat shipment of state-inspected meat plant being conducted in conjunction with the Wyoming Business Council.
Wyoming does not currently possess a USDA inspected meat plant, and the study is examining the steps necessary to implement USDA regulations for interstate meat shipment utilizing a state-inspected plant.
“We know that there is a legislative interest in getting state inspected meat across Wyoming’s borders,” Miyamoto said during the call. “We have not had any plant operators pursue state inspection for interstate shipment of meat to this point in time. It is an expensive endeavor to get a plant up and running that meets all the criteria to ship across state lines.”
Presently, facilities in the state cannot process enough volume to offset the cost of operating a USDA plant. Recently passed USDA rules would allow state inspected plants to utilize the USDA stamp to ship meat across state lines if procedures are met exactly.
One option being considered is utilizing UW’s Meat Lab as a USDA processing plant and a pilot project for the concept. The Board is collaborating with Warrie Means, professor of meat science at UW, on the project.
“Means is currently going through the process of making a list of what would need to be done to get that facility up to the standards we would need to participate in this program,” Miyamoto elaborated.
Staffing is another aspect of the plant that is being looked into.
“We are looking at the staffing and administrative requirements on behalf of WDA,” he explained. “A veterinarian is one of the bigger issues that needs to be addressed in order to receive the USDA stamp. We also would have to have WDA personnel trained and certified for compliance with USDA inspection protocols.”
Miyamoto stated that the facility must also meet specified requirements, which Means is researching now.
“We are currently in the fact-finding part of the study,” Miyamoto added. “The information that we collect will be presented to the Legislature’s Joint Agriculture, State and Public Lands and Water Resources Committee in September.”