Small Farm Meat Rabbits

Asked September 4, 2015, 2:17 PM EDT

We are a small farm in Clackamas County looking to begin selling rabbit meat. We are an LLC and have been for years but have not sold meat before. We've had meat rabbits for our own use for almost a year now, but would like to begin selling them on a small scale to clients we already have and a local restaurant. What do we need to do to do this legally? We already know how to butcher rabbits but my understanding is that meat for sale must be slaughtered/butchered by a USDA approved facility. Is there any way to get the certification we need to do this ourselves? If not, what would be the best way to get the rabbits processed affordably? We will likely never sell more than 10-20 rabbits at a time, so we need to keep processing costs low in order to preserve any profit. Thanks so much for your time.

Clackamas County Oregon

1 Response

Rabbits are non-amenable, meaning that USDA inspection is voluntary and not required by law. You just need to process them in a state-licensed facility (Oregon Department of Agriculture issues the license). It’s the same type of facility where you could process up to 20,000 poultry per year, so it's 4 walls, easily draining floors, etc. Unfortunately, they won't allow an open air processing environment.

ODA used to have a handout about specific facility requirements, but they took it off their site a couple of years ago. I suggest you call ODA directly and ask for specifics.

You might consider finding another state-licensed facility that will handle rabbits and getting them to do the processing. You can find a list of those processors here: