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meat laws?  RSS feed

 
Juan Pedro Ortiz
Posts: 21
Location: Land of Oz
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hey guys just wanted to ask if anyone knows what the laws are here in Oz (more specifically in Vic) in regards to selling meat directly to a customer?

Is there anyone here raising their own animals and selling direct? How do you go about it?
All the local farmers I've spoken to locally sell at the auctions or to agents and have never sold directly to a customer.....They think its a strange idea to market directly.

cheers
 
Mat Smith
Posts: 125
Location: Gold Coast Hinterland QLD, Australia
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My understanding is that the laws in Australia are amongst the most restrictive and ridiculous in the world.
I'm pretty sure that if the animal is not killed in an 'approved' facility then the meat must stay onsite, and cannot leave the property.
I think it is a little different if someone actually takes part in the kill/butchering of the animal.
I went to one of Joel Salatin's talks and we all discussed this issue - even he was astounded at how bad our laws are!
 
Angelika Maier
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Posts: 961
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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Agreed. You can sell this animal living. But people will pay far less for it. I know someone who sells a lamb for $100. That is not really a lot at all.
You must go through a slaughterhouse to sell meat butchered yet. I would say you could band up with animals rights activists, because slaughterhouse is cruel, but most of them are vegetarian and closed minded. Second you must look up? ask the council if killing is allowed on your property at all. It is really time to change these stupid laws.
 
John Polk
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Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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It's about as insane here in the States. It has to be done by an inspected butcher shop, & he wants a couple $ per pound.
So, with a 150 pound (hanging) pig, he gets about $300 to cut it up. Where did your profit go?

I heard a local explaining how he works around it:
He sells the pig alive at his place for the customer to butcher. Since the customer doesn't know how, he 'shows' him.
The customer never gets a drop of blood on him, and ends up with a butchered hog.
(He lets the customer wrap it however he wants it.)

Don't know if that would work in Oz, but it might be a way around raising animals so some butcher can get rich.
 
Angelika Maier
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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I think in Oz the butcher can't do the job it must be an abbatoir.
 
Darren Collins
Posts: 34
Location: Jamberoo, NSW, Australia
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I've tried to find out what the laws really are several times, and each time I've given up without knowing the full picture.

If you want to sell meat, you need to have the animal killed at a licensed abattoir, transported via approved refrigerated transport to a licensed butcher, and cut and prepared there. You can then sell it. Butchers don't slaughter here in Oz (there may be exceptions, but they'd be very rare). There doesn't appear to be any way to kill on-farm for sale, unless you have an inspected abattoir and butchering facilities on-site. I've never heard of anyone who does that.

I've bought beef this way - I paid for the cow, the farmer had it transported to the abattoir, the abattoir organised transport to the butcher, the butcher cut and bagged it to my instructions, and I picked it up from him. Of course everyone takes their cut along the way. I don't like the disconnection, though - I was supposed to get the offal from two cows that were sent up that day, but I only got one liver, three cheeks, two hearts, two tongues, no kidneys, and no explanation of the missing bits. You're never quite 100% sure whether you got everything from your animal, or indeed whether you got your actual animal back - I've heard horror stories, but I think the people I dealt with were fine.

When I raised some pigs, I tried to find a mobile butcher who could do everything on my property (the meat wasn't for sale). The one guy I found said he no longer did it because the regulations were too hard to comply with. I've heard that there are mobile butchers in other regions, though. In the end I had to go the abattoir/butcher route.

I have heard that meat you raise and slaughter yourself can't leave your property, but then what happens for farmers who don't live on the land they slaughtered on? The rules must be a little flexible there. I've also heard that you can't serve the meat to people who don't live on your property, but I was told by one of the government departments that that's not true - dining guests are fine. You can't serve it to commercial guests, though - e.g. people paying for farm-stays or paying you for a meal.

In the end, I stopped researching because it was too difficult. I don't want to go full commercial, I just want to be able to sell a few rabbits, ducks and chickens to friends and family. Turns out it's more hassle than it's worth, so they only get to eat my critters when they visit me .
 
Phoenix Blackdove
Posts: 36
Location: Adelaide, Australia
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(Sorry about the thread resurrection, I didn't see the date on the last post til I'd finished writing my reply)

I think the easiest way to find out what laws apply in your State might be to ring up/email some of the direct sellers (yes they are out there) and ask them what hoops they had to jump through in order to sell direct to the public. Here in SA there's at least three farms I know of selling whole or part animals direct to consumers.

www.pariscreekbeef.com.au
From their home page: "Paris Creek Beef is naturally 100% grass-fed yearling beef direct from the farmer to your kitchen. Our meat is only processed once we receive your order as this guarantees fresh produce direct to you. Our meat is processed by a licensed accredited butcher, is dry aged for between 15-20 days and cut to your specifications. No substances are added to your meat to increase the weight or alter the colour. At Paris Creek Beef you receive fresh natural produce."

http://www.najobe.com.au/

http://www.kentoncreekangus.com.au/?page_id=140


The common theme is that they're all commercial scale operations and they all go through butchers. It's probably *technically* possible to build an accredited slaughterhouse on your farm, but I can see that being very expensive to build/license/inspect etc and is probably part of why most seem to go through butchers.

Depending on how underhanded you feel you could always "give" the animals to your friends/family and have them "give" you cash for some other, completely unrelated, goods or services... I know of several farming families in cattle country who regularly get home kills done on their property, for their own needs, and then split the animal(s) between Mum/Dad and the kids who've moved out of home. I doubt it's entirely legal, but I can't see the practise ending any time soon either.
 
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