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Inspection of Farm Grounds and Facilities in Missouri

January 22, 2021
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WRITTEN BY Dr. Elena Bickell

House Bill 574 would limit who can conduct on-farm inspections of animal agricultural operations within the state to only those who are authorized by the federal or Missouri law to keep the commercial supply of these products safe. The bill specifies that representatives from the Missouri and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the county sheriff and any other federal or Missouri state agency with statutory or regulatory authority have the exclusive authority to inspect Missouri farms that raise livestock, eggs, milk or other dairy products, or other animals. The bill modifies the inspection authority of the facilities that produce meat, eggs and poultry, so the existing safety regulations outside the farm grounds or facilities would not be affected.

Highlights

  • Biosecurity at agricultural facilities may be compromised when unauthorized or inexperienced personnel enter the farm facilities or grounds.
  • On-farm inspections in the state are performed by the Missouri Department of Agriculture for animal health violations and by the Environmental Protection Agency for animal waste. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System require additional permits from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.
  • Outside the farm, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and State Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs are responsible for ensuring that the United States' commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged.

Limitations

  • Several federal and state authorities are in place to ensure that human health, animal welfare, food safety, biosecurity, and environmental considerations are regulated and enforced. However, the exact state of who is authorized to inspect which facilities, and how often is unclear.
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