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Pasture poultry related regulations in Georgia?

 
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Hey guys,

I am trying to find some information on raising and processing poultry in Georgia.  I have been digging around, but most of the information I have found has been years old.

Is anyone familiar with the current laws in Georgia regarding a smaller farm that would like to raise poultry?


Are the smaller farms still limited to 1000 birds a year and do they still need to be taken out of state for processing due to the regulations and lack of processing facilities here?  Are there any regulations that prevent or hinder a small farmer's ability to sell to the public?


I have no intention to sell to retail outlets.  I am hoping to provide home delivery, the typical farmer's market sales, and on-site sales.


I appreciate any information you can give!


Thanks,

 
pollinator
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I think you have two paths you could follow:
1.  Ask permission.
2.  Ask forgiveness.

The upside with option 1 is that, in theory at least, you'll definitely not do anything you legally shouldn't.  The downside is that it's easier and safer to say "No" than "Yes," so there's always a chance you'll incorrectly be told that the laws are stricter than they actually are.

If I were you, I would contact your state Dept. of Agriculture.  Find your way to someone in the Meat Inspection division, and simply ask what the laws are regarding the selling of farm-slaughtered poultry.  It's best to ask open-ended questions if possible, not Yes/No questions.  But those folks will (or should) have the most up-to-date and accurate information.  

Make notes of who you talked to and when, and what you were told, so if someone comes back to say "You can't do that" you have a record.  And do be aware that local (e.g. county) regulations can be stricter than the state's, so just because the state allows something doesn't mean your local jurisdiction does.
 
Tommy Toland
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Wes Hunter wrote:I think you have two paths you could follow:
1.  Ask permission.
2.  Ask forgiveness.

The upside with option 1 is that, in theory at least, you'll definitely not do anything you legally shouldn't.  The downside is that it's easier and safer to say "No" than "Yes," so there's always a chance you'll incorrectly be told that the laws are stricter than they actually are.

If I were you, I would contact your state Dept. of Agriculture.  Find your way to someone in the Meat Inspection division, and simply ask what the laws are regarding the selling of farm-slaughtered poultry.  It's best to ask open-ended questions if possible, not Yes/No questions.  But those folks will (or should) have the most up-to-date and accurate information.  

Make notes of who you talked to and when, and what you were told, so if someone comes back to say "You can't do that" you have a record.  And do be aware that local (e.g. county) regulations can be stricter than the state's, so just because the state allows something doesn't mean your local jurisdiction does.




Sounds like great advice.  Definitely not going with option 2 though, lol.


Thanks a bunch, Wes!
 
Wes Hunter
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Tommy Toland wrote:Sounds like great advice.  Definitely not going with option 2 though, lol.



Eh, I wouldn't be too quick to rule it out.  I'm not necessarily suggesting this, but it's possible you could just sort of fly under the radar, especially if you were working with likeminded customers.  You would, of course, still have a moral obligation to produce good, safe, clean food, but when regulations get too onerous there are worse things than skirting them.

Quite possibly, no one would ever know, or even care.  No "forgiveness" required.

Then again, you might be the one they make an example of, and no amount of asking forgiveness would help.
 
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Wes Hunter wrote:

Tommy Toland wrote:Sounds like great advice.  Definitely not going with option 2 though, lol.



Eh, I wouldn't be too quick to rule it out.  I'm not necessarily suggesting this, but it's possible you could just sort of fly under the radar, especially if you were working with likeminded customers.  You would, of course, still have a moral obligation to produce good, safe, clean food, but when regulations get too onerous there are worse things than skirting them.

Quite possibly, no one would ever know, or even care.  No "forgiveness" required.

Then again, you might be the one they make an example of, and no amount of asking forgiveness would help.



That's the main reason I never tried home distillation.  I know a few folks that do it, but I also know someone that barely got away with it (and probably just because they were too lazy to really want to bust him) when the BATFE came knocking.

If you want to sell meat for profit there are a lot of rules, some of which are actually counterproductive, but can jam you up if you flout them.  Definitely second Wes's advice of calling and asking open ended questions to state and possibly local regulators.  Don't tell them what you intend to do, just ask what the rules are for a generic on farm slaughter operation.
 
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