Senate Bills supporting meat processing industry filed
Mike Seals - January 26, 2021 10:55 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY – Two bills have been filed by Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, to help Oklahoma’s meat producers by improving and expanding the inspection process.
“Not only are we one of the top beef producing states in the U.S., I firmly believe we produce the best beef on the planet. However, the time has come that we protect our producers and our processors, so we can keep that title,” Bullard said. “I’ve filed two bills regarding beef and meat production in our state. One establishes the rules for a bill passed last year and will aid our producers and processors and offer them more marketing options for their product. The other bill will add sovereignty to Oklahoma producers as well as add pork and poultry.”
Senate Bill 761 would authorize the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, rather than the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to establish standards for Oklahoma producers that market and sell beef, bison, pork or poultry in intrastate commerce.
SB 762 would provide additional guidance for federal and state inspection of meat processing facilities to make the process more efficient for Oklahoma producers. It would clarify that inspection standards set by the U.S. and Oklahoma Departments of Agriculture should include use of high-quality technologies to allow for clear and sufficient remote inspection as well as set minimum qualifications for meat inspectors. The bill also would authorize the agencies to create rules allowing for the intrastate processing of pork and chicken, along with the currently allowed beef and bison.
“Without our Oklahoma farmers and ranchers, we would not have the quality of life we enjoy or the food on our tables. If you like a good ribeye as much as me, go thank a local rancher by buying and supporting them directly,” Bullard said.