University of Maryland Extension

Poultry and Rabbit

USDA has jurisdiction over poultry slaughter facilities in Maryland and they issue a "grant of inspection", not a license, which is continuous while the operation is in compliance.  USDA FSIS has jurisdiction over and issues a grant of inspection for processors of over 20,000 poultry per year.  Under 20,000 slaughtered per year, USDA FSIS has jurisdiction to not sell adulterated poultry but the facilities are exempt from continuous inspection, however they may be inspected quarterly.  Maryland allows the up to 20,000 bird exemption for on-farm processing and sales as specified in the Federal Poultry Act, but Maryland further restricts the Act by not allowing those birds to be sold off farm (DHMH approved source regulations).  However, the Maryland Department of Agriculture may soon offer a training program for exempt farmers who want to sell off farm.  Farmers enrolled in this program would be allowed by the state to sell off farm without further inspection.

USDA FSIS has jurisdiction over custom poultry processing under the Federal Poultry Inspection Act and may inspect facilities quarterly.  Custom poultry processors are not licensed, they receive an exemption from continuous inspection from FSIS.

In Maryland, MPUs may be used for processing meat or poultry but MPUs are not licensed.  They are treated as an on-farm facility, and all the same facility licensing requirements apply.

As codified in the Federal Poultry Inspection Act, "amenable poultry" (chicken, turkey, ducks, geese, ratites, guineas, squabs) is under jurisdiction of FSIS and is from species specifically mentioned in the Federal Poultry Inspection Act.  Non-amenable poultry (pheasant, quail, wild turkey, grouse, partridge) is typically game and does not fall under jurisdiction of FSIS as the species are not specifically mentioned in the Federal Poultry Inspection Act—even if they are raised on a farm. 

Regulatory Resources:

MDA

USDA

Maryland Extension Business Development Resources:

Other Extension Resources:

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