University of Maryland Extension


Maryland does not license or inspect animal slaughter facilities. However Maryland does cooperate and collaborate with USDA FSIS to enforce and comply with federal regulations.

USDA FSIS has jurisdiction over animal slaughter facilities and they issue a "grant of inspection", not a license, which is continuous while the operation is in compliance. In other words, if the facility meets federal standards, FSIS will assign an inspector to the facility, and FSIS will provide continuous inspection services to the facility as long as it operates in compliance with federal standards. If FSIS withdraws inspection services for whatever reason, the facility will no longer qualify as federally inspected.

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

In Maryland, mobile processing units (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 Meat Inspection Act, "amenable meat" (cattle, sheep, goats, swine, equines, ratites) is under jurisdiction of FSIS and is from species specifically mentioned in the Federal Meat Inspection Act. Non-amenable meat (reindeer, elk, deer, antelope, water buffalo, bison, squirrel, opossum, raccoon, rabbits, muskrat, non-aquatic reptiles) is typically game and is not under jurisdiction of FSIS as the species are not specifically mentioned in the Federal Meat Inspection Act—even if they are raised on a farm.

Regulatory Resources:




Maryland Extension Business Development Resources:

Other Resources:

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2020. Web Accessibility

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your local University of Maryland Extension Office.