Here are some recent resources on Licensing, Labeling and Packaging Requirements

Key Vermont Slaughter Inspection and Licensing Requirements for Meat Producers.

Vermont Meat and Poultry Labeling and Packaging Requirements.

A Basic Guide To Selling Meat In Vermont
By Curtis J. Stasheski, Vermont Dept. of Agriculture, Food & Markets

First I would like to discuss the sale of meat. Meat is defined as the muscle of cattle, sheep, swine and goats. In order to sell meat in Vermont the seller must hold a valid licence issued by the Vermont Department of Agriculture (VTDA). There are a number of different methods of sale and the method determines which licence you must hold.

For example: If you are having the animal slaughtered, under inspection, at a USDA or VTDA inspected slaughterhouse and bringing the carcass back to your store and cutting it into retail cuts, you would need a retail license ($10.00 fee). If you are having the animal slaughtered, under inspection, at an inspected slaughterhouse and selling the whole carcass, half carcass or primal parts to restaurants, retail stores or other institutions for resale, you would need a wholesale distributor's licence ($50.00 fee).

If you are having your animals slaughtered, under inspection, at an inspected slaughterhouse and selling carcasses and half carcasses, and you relinquish control to the buyer (ie: the buyer gives the cutting instructions and pays for the processing) you are exempt from the licensing requirements.

You will notice under the three examples given, I always start with having the animals slaughtered, under inspection, at an inspected slaughterhouse. All of the slaughterhouses in Vermont are either USDA or VTDA inspected. However, the USDA inspected slaughterhouses can and do slaughter animals, legally, without an inspector present, (ie: not under inspection or "Custom").

Meat from these custom slaughtered animals cannot be sold. The meat is for the owners own use, his/her family and nonpaying guests. Therefore, if you plan on selling any meat, I suggest you notify the slaughterhouse owner that you need to have them slaughtered under inspection when you schedule the animals to be slaughtered. If you are having livestock slaughtered at an inspected facility and you intend to sell it you may be required to label your product. If the carcass of meat is leaving the slaughterhouse whole, in halves or quarters, or to be cut up elsewhere, it does not need a label. However, if the slaughterhouse is also processing the carcass for you (cutting into steaks, roasts, etc.) to sell through your store, at your farm, to other stores or to restaurants, each cut must be properly labeled.

If you intend to sell in this manner, you can call for guidance or you can talk to the inspector at the slaughterhouse. If you have any other questions call (802) 828-2426.

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