Quantcast
Selling rabbit meat? - Homesteading Today
Homesteading Today

Come enter the Lehman's Aladdin Lamp Giveaway!

Go Back   Homesteading Today > Livestock Forums > Rabbits


Like Tree12Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.
  #1  
Old 11/08/10, 04:35 PM
Patt's Avatar
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Ouachitas, AR
Posts: 6,049
Selling rabbit meat?

Does anyone here do direct sales of rabbit meat from your farm? I can't seem to find any laws on it here in AR.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11/08/10, 04:43 PM
Wisconsin Ann's Avatar
Happy Scrounger
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Central Wisconsin
Posts: 13,626

IN GENERAL....rabbits tend to fall under the same laws as chickens. Since there aren't a lot of home butchering rabbit farmers, rabbits often fall through the cracks. Here is Wisconsin it's pretty much "up to 1000 lbs per year" (or might be animals...can't remember). After that you need a license.

to sell OFF the farm (farmer's market, restaurants, etc.) we need the animals processed by a USDA licensed butcher.

I found the Wisconsin regs on the Wisconsin government site..then followed links down to our Agricultural laws. You can also contact your local Ag Extension agent to get the appropriate laws for your region.

__________________
"A good photograph is knowing where to stand. - Ansel Adams
(and a lot of luck - Wisconsin Ann)
Rabbits anyone? RabbitTalk.com

Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11/08/10, 04:46 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 480

It's really hard to sell rabbit meat because they aren't seen as livestock by the USDA. However you can sell the meat if you have it processed at a USDA inspected facility, and if you have the option to rent a meat locker (at the facility). It's really hard because, for processors, it requires a special license to process rabbit. I know it's weird. They are only looking at rabbit as a "pet" because people own them in areas as pets that don't allow livestock (i.e cities). They cannot stop you from selling rabbits that are alive as meat if the buyer does the deed themselves. There are ways around it though. I don't do this myself because I don't want to be busted. You could sell them the rabbit and say the butchering is a gift. :/
It's up to you. If any of the information isn't correct please correct me.

Also I might add that if you're busting out enough rabbits that actually make you a profit you can go about butchering yourself. This will only be possible if you have the correct licensing (which might be costly) and a place that is not in your home where you can do the deed. Of course it will be inspected and has to be up to their codes.

__________________

Last edited by The Bunny Ranch; 11/08/10 at 04:48 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11/08/10, 05:12 PM
Patt's Avatar
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Ouachitas, AR
Posts: 6,049

Our state doesn't have any laws and like you mentioned the USDA doesn't see them as livestock so no real law there either. Kind of silly really. A lot of people eat rabbit around here and we have sold it to friends. It should fall under poultry laws I think.

We already sell through a local Farmer's Market and we can sell any kind of poultry that we butcher here with no inspections at all. Not sure how or if we want to add rabbit though since no law doesn't necessarily mean nobody will go after us.....

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11/08/10, 05:59 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 480
http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/arcode/Default.asp

Type in "meat" into the search. You can also look up "poultry".

I wish our state had a website like this. Our search engine stinks!
__________________

Last edited by The Bunny Ranch; 11/08/10 at 06:08 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11/08/10, 06:13 PM
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 2,219

I've spent the last week looking this stuff up... Interestingly enough, HT is one of the sites that pops up for info on this, along with Pat Lamar's website, and PRMA, both of which have disappeared into the cyberspace landfill...

It seems as though most states aren't sure exactly how to classify rabbits, so if you want to sell to the public, you need to have them butchered as a USDA-inspected processor's, even though they do not fall under USDA regulations... Seems like a lot of people are going about it by selling the rabbit "live", adding on a processing fee (what the butcher charges), and offering "free delivery", meaning you buy the rabbit from them, pay the butcher fee, and they'll deliver the rabbit to the butcher for you and pick it up packaged, and you just have to come pick it up from their house. I think that's easy for most large setups because they take a large group of rabbits in at one time.

Most states seem to allow you to butcher your own (up to a certain # or lb) if you're just killing them for yourself, and some have this same clause if you're selling to the public. But once you "go big" you have to have it done at a USDA facility... Too bad the govt hasn't figured out exactly how to treat rabbits on the books. It would be a lot simpler for people to figure out!

And try looking up actual processors to see what they pay for fryers and what their rules are... *lol* If you find any info on that, let me know! That search seems to be more impossible than the first.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11/08/10, 06:18 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 480

Have you ever considered selling to Pel-Freez? They are located in Arkansas.

http://www.pel-freez.com/

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11/08/10, 06:56 PM
Patt's Avatar
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Ouachitas, AR
Posts: 6,049
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bunny Ranch View Post
http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/arcode/Default.asp

Type in "meat" into the search. You can also look up "poultry".

I wish our state had a website like this. Our search engine stinks!
It is telling me to sign in. I have already searched the Health Dept's site and checked in with the U of A ag law center. There just isn't a law on rabbit.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 11/08/10, 07:00 PM
Patt's Avatar
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Ouachitas, AR
Posts: 6,049
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bunny Ranch View Post
Have you ever considered selling to Pel-Freez? They are located in Arkansas.

http://www.pel-freez.com/
I want to sell directly to the public so I can make some actual money on them, I raise mine on pasture and Pelfreeze has all sorts of rules including an air conditioned barn and hutches only.

I can't find any meat processing places that do rabbits here.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 11/08/10, 07:37 PM
Pony's Avatar
Shifting My Paradigm
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: South Central Missouri
Posts: 18,786

We don't have rabbit laws here in MO, either.

It's not regulated, we don't have to take it to a USDA butcher or anything.

If we wanted to, I assume we could take it to the Farmer's Markets and such, or keep selling the occasional rabbit off the farm to friends.

bjgarlich likes this.
__________________
Pony!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11/08/10, 09:07 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 480

If you contact you local extension office they could give you great advice.

http://www.uaex.edu/ouachita/

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11/15/10, 01:15 PM
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 138

in texas you can offer rabbit meat live and offer to process for no extra money to get around any usda laws

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11/15/10, 02:28 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Washington
Posts: 1,383

First off, you'll find all of my old "Commercial Rabbit Industries" web site information right here as a "sticky" on this forum, but it's titled "Raising Rabbits" or some such silly thing. It will show 0 replies because I won't allow replies to mess it up. It's a LARGE file.

Secondly, MOST (not all) states only require STATE-inspected facilities, and not USDA facilities, but I don't know about Arkansas. Since Pel-Freez is USDA, then it could be that AR requires meats for resale purposes to be processed in USDA plants. "For resale" generally means to stores and restaurants for resale to the general public. USDA processing is a lot more expensive than using a state-inspected facility.

It is not uncommon to have difficulty finding the correct information you need... even with state and/or government contacts. You COULD try a local butcher shop simply to ask if all meats for resale have to be USDA or processed in a state-inspected facility. If a state facility is possible, they may even know where they are!

Pat Lamar

cats likes this.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11/15/10, 02:50 PM
Patt's Avatar
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Ouachitas, AR
Posts: 6,049

Thanks for the info!

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 11/19/10, 07:16 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 329

I have wondered about this too & figured that if I had them butchered at a licensed butcher shop that it would be legal. I was too chicken to sell meat that was butchered here at home. I just took 14 in to the butcher shop last week. The butcher himself bought 2 & I already have the others sold. A couple weeks before they were ready to go, I advertised in The Trading Post " Taking orders for dressed fryer rabbits, $10 each. " I already had 8 of them spoken for thru the ad, then my friend & my brother both bought 2. This is the 2nd butcher shop I've used since summer. The first charged $2 each, this one charged $1.50 each, but both of them had me take them home whole. I had to cut & wrap them myself.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 11/19/10, 11:35 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 830
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeb View Post
in texas you can offer rabbit meat live and offer to process for no extra money to get around any usda laws
USDA regs only apply when shipping rabbit OUTSIDE Texas. Otherwise, we are regulated by State law. The oversight agency is the Texas Dept. of Health. There is no provision for offering free processing to get around Texas regulations. Even if you do not charge for the rabbit in any way, shape, form, or fashion, you are still obligated to follow the state law. The issue is the safety of the processing....not the fee for processing.

With that said, I sell processed rabbit to friends and family without being licensed and inspected. It's certainly not a big time endeavor and I do NO advertising!
__________________

Linda Welch
Breeder of Californians and New Zealand Whites
http://www.texasrabbitconnection.com

Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 11/23/10, 09:02 AM
wintrrwolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bellflower, MO
Posts: 3,287
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabbithappy View Post
I have wondered about this too & figured that if I had them butchered at a licensed butcher shop that it would be legal. I was too chicken to sell meat that was butchered here at home. I just took 14 in to the butcher shop last week. The butcher himself bought 2 & I already have the others sold. A couple weeks before they were ready to go, I advertised in The Trading Post " Taking orders for dressed fryer rabbits, $10 each. " I already had 8 of them spoken for thru the ad, then my friend & my brother both bought 2. This is the 2nd butcher shop I've used since summer. The first charged $2 each, this one charged $1.50 each, but both of them had me take them home whole. I had to cut & wrap them myself.
Have to ask..so what the butcher did was kill and gut them? Was thinking 1.50 - 2.00 was pretty darn reasonable for butchering and processing.
__________________

The more I know people … the more I respect animals.
Lovn Ivy Farm
http://lovnivy.webs.com/

Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 11/23/10, 02:25 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Washington
Posts: 1,383

The only problem with using butchers is that the meat USUALLY is "custom" butchered and wrapped for "personal" use, only... AND stamped "NOT FOR RESALE." Be careful!

Pat Lamar

cats likes this.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12/01/10, 06:53 PM
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: utah
Posts: 176

I do it all myself from a 12 week old fryer in a cage to a vaccume packed frozen (sometimes quartered) meat carcass.
One of the workarounds I have suggested in the past is:
Theoretically, you dont sell $20 of meat for human consumption, you sell live rabbits for $15 and add offer a processing service for $5... Theoretically...

They look at the ones in the cages, and take home one out of the freezer, and they are always ok with that =)

Finished product, with large banana in the pic for reference:

__________________

"All the world will be your enemy, Prince of a Thousand enemies. And when they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you;"

Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12/01/10, 09:34 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 355

here in NC we are allowed 1000 raised & processed sales within the state lines per calendar year w/o a license, the from 1000 to i think 5000 you need a health inspection and sanitation stamp. over that falls in to usda guidelines.

It varies by state greatly but there is going to be labeling restrictions pretty much regardless of where you live. Your county health department should be able to get you the regulations or point you in the right direction but understand that they are not in the business of making life easy and most are simply looking for more permit fees from what I've seen.

Best wishes,
Ryan

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12/01/10, 10:02 PM
Patt's Avatar
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Ouachitas, AR
Posts: 6,049

The whole problem is that there are actually no rules written about rabbit in the state of AR. That is not unusual for our state sadly. And no rules does not mean go ahead and do it either.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 11/21/13, 03:22 PM
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NW Arkansas
Posts: 10

Sorry to revive a dead post, but I figured there might be other people out there who were curious and this thread never seemed to resolve the issue...

I had the same question myself, so I called the USDA local office for my area.

They directed me to Dave Ganzel from FSIS (479-751-8412). He told me that there are no regulations as long as you are selling less than 20K animals per year. He said it falls under poultry rules. He also said to check with the county health department to ensure that they do not have any regulations.

I called my local County Health Department and the guy told me a lot of things that didn't make a lot of sense to me so I called the State Level for clarification. County had given me the rules regarding meat markets, restaurants, etc. Slaughtering rabbits for a customer simply because they are too squeamish to do it themselves isn't the same thing.

The state level guy I spoke to was Will Hastings. He said that - essentially - you sell them a live rabbit and hand it to them. They then hand the rabbit back to you and you slaughter/dress it for them. You can charge for this if you like. This is perfectly legal. Will Hastings can be reached at 501-661-2576

What you CANNOT do is slaughter a bunch of rabbits and then wait around for people to buy them. Anticipatory slaughters fall under meat market rules.

I hope you aren't in my sales area

cats and redneckswife like this.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 11/21/13, 03:24 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Indiana
Posts: 297

In Indiana it is illegal to sell processed animals unless you are USDA inspected. But you can do as BHFarms suggested.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 11/21/13, 03:30 PM
redneckswife's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2013
Location: NE Arkansas
Posts: 2,087

I posted a link under the useful rabbit sticky at the top of the rabbit forum which has information on how to find your state laws and regulations. The link also has information on how to find your county laws.

Don't forget your city may also have regualtions.

Okay here's the link, you should be able to find your state.

http://www.rabbitedsociety.webs.com/legislation.htm

__________________
www.arkansasdeltarabbitry.com
"The good you do today will often be forgotten,Do good anyway"-Mother Teresa
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 11/21/13, 03:32 PM
redneckswife's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2013
Location: NE Arkansas
Posts: 2,087

BTW, Arkansas does have laws.

I checked into it only because I live here.

By the way was this previous member from years ago "banned" as it states under her name..if so that's a trip

__________________
www.arkansasdeltarabbitry.com
"The good you do today will often be forgotten,Do good anyway"-Mother Teresa
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 11/21/13, 05:36 PM
Fat Man's Avatar  
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Way out yonder where the west commences
Posts: 626
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeb View Post
in texas you can offer rabbit meat live and offer to process for no extra money to get around any usda laws
I would do this or put a label on it saying Not For Human Consumption and pretend it'd dog food.

I should start looking at the dates on posts.
cats likes this.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 11/22/13, 12:02 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Indiana
Posts: 169

@countrytime
Under a 2013 Indiana law, rabbits may be slaughtered and processed without inspection and sold at a farmers market under the following conditions**:
1. The product must be frozen at the point of sale.
2. The product includes a label that contains the following information:
• Name and address of the producer,
• Common or usual name of the product,
• Ingredients of the product,
• Net weight and volume of the product,
• Date the food was processed, and
• Statement of exemption (for example, the phrase “Exempt under IC 16-42-5-29”).
• Statement, in 10-point type: “This product is home-produced and processed in a production area not inspected by ISDH.”

That's our newest legislation.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 11/25/13, 09:58 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Indiana
Posts: 169

That's straight from BOAH
This is as well.
It is strongly recommended that persons engaged in these retail sales activities contact the local health department having jurisdiction prior to selling. BOAH / Meat & Poultry Inspection has no direct jurisdiction over retail sales.

__________________
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 11/25/13, 11:05 AM
Registered Users
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NW Arkansas
Posts: 10

I was posting specifically about Arkansas, as that was the initial post and my own question that landed me here. The method I suggested for selling meat came straight from the state level Health Department person whose name I listed. He also informed me that he would chat with the local level guy and make sure he understood in the future - what the rules are. This is strictly for selling meat off the farm, and has nothing to do with meat markets and farmer's markets.

redneckswife likes this.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 11/25/13, 11:53 AM
redneckswife's Avatar  
Join Date: May 2013
Location: NE Arkansas
Posts: 2,087

That's why it's great to have your "friends" there on urmm.. cull day,lol.

Good luck and happy cull..urrmm..breeding everyone.

Rabbit really is healthy

__________________
www.arkansasdeltarabbitry.com
"The good you do today will often be forgotten,Do good anyway"-Mother Teresa
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:32 PM.