Inspection requirements for selling rabbit meat?

Asked June 10, 2017, 6:23 PM EDT

Good Afternoon, I'm looking at the "Meat and Poultry Processing Regulations in Oregon – A Short Guide" and I'm a little unclear if the "voluntary" species, specifically rabbit, must be processed in a state-licensed facility or if they can be processed at an unlicensed home facility and still be sold to individuals, restaurants, and at farmer's markets (as I understand it, the voluntary part is just in regards to USDA inspection?). I'm looking to expand my extremely small-scale family operation to a slightly bigger, but still very small-scale operation with the option to legally sell a few rabbits here and there to local people and restaurants. At least in the short-term, I wouldn't anticipate selling more than 20 processed rabbits a month. Thank you! Rosie

Polk County Oregon small meat processors

1 Response

Rabbit is regulated by the FDA not the USDA. Therefore, to sell rabbit, you don't have to process under USDA inspection, but it should be in a FDA inspected facility. At the state level, that usually means a commercial kitchen that is county/state licensed or a state licensed poultry processor. To sell wholesale to a restaurant or retailer, they usually require that all their meat purchased is USDA inspected or at least coming from a state-licensed processor. This could include a state licensed poultry processor allowed to process up to 20K birds a year. However, meat processed in a state licensed facility cannot be sold out of state.
More information can be found here: http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/sites/default/files/regs_licenses_handout_sfc_2013.pdf