Sign the petition! Decentralize access to local meat in Washington State

Author(s): 
Chrys Ostrander

Farmyard with livestockSign the petition! Decentralize access to local meat in Washington State.

The State of Wyoming recently passed an 'animal share/herd share' law that will allow Wyoming consumers to buy any amount of meat from a local livestock producer instead of having to buy a quarter, half or whole animal. This is good for the rancher who may now sell direct without having to transport the animals to a USDA inspected processing facility. It will also make livestock producing more accessible and profitable for smaller-scale producers. It will be good for families who include meat in their diets by allowing them to buy direct, obtain really fresh meat products and support their local food system.

Governor Inslee could enact this much needed change by executive order since it is merely an interpretation of existing USDA regulations. This way, the practice could be begun in the state now, during the COVID-19 pandemic that has so severely impacted the centralized meat processing industry, rather than waiting for the legislative process to run it's course. This way, the benefits to farmers and eaters could commence immediately.

Please sign this petition asking Gov. Inslee to issue this executive order. Here's the link to the petition:

http://chng.it/YS4mSk7rKk

Here's an article on Wyoming's new 'animal share/herd share' law that would allow consumers to buy any amount of meat from a local livestock producer instead of having to buy a quarter, half or whole animal, although those quantities are allowed as well. This is good for the rancher who may now sell direct without having to transport the animals to a USDA inspected processing facility. It will also make livestock producing more accessible and profitable for smaller-scale producers which can begin the process of decentralization of the meat processing industry. Obtaining smaller quantities would likely involve consumers partnering up to purchase, receive and process their meat so it could be distributed among them proportional to shares purchased.

It's reported as an amendment to Wyoming's 'Food Freedom Act,' but I believe any state could pass a similar law without having a Food Freedom Act or similar food sovereignty-type law. In fact, I believe it could be enacted by a governor through executive action since it is merely an interpretation of existing USDA regulations that specifically exempt animal or herd owners from USDA inspection.

I think, as we experience meat shortages from COVID-19-impacted industrial meat processing plants, that Washington State citizens could petition Governor Inslee to execute such an executive order. This way, the practice could be begun in the state now rather than waiting for the slow legislative process to run it's course and the benefits to farmers and eaters could commence immediately.

https://www.wlj.net/top_headlines/new-wyoming-law-to-allow-ranchers-to-sell-meat-directly/article_9b8f8fc2-80c5-11ea-a6cf-93097893a422.html

Edition: 
May 2020