Bills filed in Oklahoma Senate to help support meat processing industry


In this April 2020, photo provided by Tyson Foods, workers wear protective masks and stand between plastic dividers at the company’s Camilla, Georgia poultry processing plant. Tyson has added the plastic dividers to create separation between workers because of the coronavirus outbreak. (Tyson Foods via AP)

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A state senator filed two bills to help Oklahoma’s meat producers by improving and expanding the inspection process.

“Not only are we one of the top beef producing states in the U.S., I firmly believe we produce the best beef on the planet. However, the time has come that we protect our producers and our processors, so we can keep that title,” said Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, who filed the bills on Tuesday. “I’ve filed two bills regarding beef and meat production in our state. One establishes the rules for a bill passed last year and will aid our producers and processors and offer them more marketing options for their product. The other bill will add sovereignty to Oklahoma producers as well as add pork and poultry.”

Senate Bill 761 seeks to authorize the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, instead of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to establish standards for Oklahoma producers that market and sell beef, bison, pork or poultry in intrastate commerce, according to an Oklahoma State Senate Communications Division news release.

SB 762, if passed, would provide federal and state inspection of meat processing facilities extra guidance to make the process more efficient for Oklahoma producers. It would clarify that U.S. and Oklahoma Departments of Agriculture inspection standards should include high-quality technology use to allow for clear and sufficient remote inspection and set minimum qualifications for meat inspectors. The bill also would authorize the agencies to create rules allowing for the intrastate processing of pork and chicken, along with the currently allowed beef and bison, according to the news release.

“Without our Oklahoma farmers and ranchers, we would not have the quality of life we enjoy or the food on our tables. If you like a good ribeye as much as me, go thank a local rancher by buying and supporting them directly,” Bullard said.


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