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Regulatory Landscape for the Direct Marketing of Meat and Poultry in Oklahoma

Owners of livestock and poultry in Oklahoma may have interest in marketing their animals, a portion of their animals or the meat/ poultry from those animals directly to consumers. To accomplish this, the animals must be slaughtered and processed and prepared as finished meat/poultry cuts. There are four basic regulatory avenues for the direct marketing of meat/poultry, and each category has respective specifications and limitations.


  1. Federal Inspection. This describes establishments which operate directly according to the Federal Meat Inspection Act and under the authority of the USDA-FSIS. This act is codified in Title 9 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
    1. Any meat or poultry from animals slaughtered at a federal establishment may be transported and sold in commerce across the entire Unites States. In short, this meat can be sold and sent across state lines. These products also may be exported if all export provisions have been accomplished.
  2. State Inspection. This describes Oklahoma establishments that operate directly, according to the regulations of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry (ODAFF). The state of Oklahoma, through these regulations, has adopted and incorporated by reference a portion of the federal regulations. These regulations are found in Title 35, Chapter 37 of the Oklahoma Administrative Code.
    1. Meat or poultry from animals slaughtered at a state inspected establishment may be sold in commerce only within the boundaries of the state of Oklahoma.
    2. Meat or poultry from a state inspected establishment may be transported across state boundaries but only for personal use/consumption by the original owner of the items.
    3. Meat or poultry from a state inspected establishment is prohibited from being sold online (internet sales) and then shipped out of state.
  3. Custom-Exempt. This describes establishments that provide the custom slaughter of cattle, sheep, swine, goats, poultry, rabbits or exotics delivered by the owner of the animal exclusively for use in the household of the owner.
    1. The products from custom exempt establishments must be labeled prominently with the words NOT FOR SALE.
    2. These finished items are prohibited from being sold in commerce.
  4. On-farm or Mobile Slaughter.
    1. Live poultry may be slaughtered on-farm, and the carcasses may be sold directly to a purchaser if the transaction occurs at the farm location. This provision is limited to 1,000 chickens, 250 turkeys or a combination per year per farm (4 chickens equals 1 turkey).
    2. The mobile slaughter of red meat species is a sub-category of the Custom Exempt category and allows for the slaughter of the animal to occur at one location, while the preparation of cuts occurs at a custom-exempt establishment. For more information on mobile slaughter please visit fact sheet FAPC-243.



Common Q&A

Q: Can I sell the meat/poultry from my livestock and/or poultry animals, directly to a customer?

A: Yes, if it was processed in a federal or state establishment. Products from a state establishment may be sold only within the state boundary.


Q: What permit(s) do I need to sell or deliver meat directly to a customer/ consumer?

A: If you hold the meat in a location other than the slaughter/processing establishment, you should contact your local county health department to understand the local requirements. If you sell meat from a location other than the slaughter/processing establishment or if you deliver meat to a customer, you will need to secure a Certificate of Registration for Distributors, Meat Brokers and Public Warehousemen (from ODAFF).


Q: Can I sell meat that was processed at a custom-exempt establishment?

A: No. Those items are intended to be consumed by the owner of the animal and/or non-paying household guests of the owner of the animal.


Q: I want to sell meat from my live-stock, but I only have access to a custom-exempt establishment. What are my options?

A: You can sell the animal or a portion of the animal, for example 1/2 or 1/4, to the customer before it is slaughtered/processed.


Q: Where can I find a list of processors in Oklahoma?

A: Oklahoma state and custom establishments and federal establishments.


For More Information

Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry FOOD SAFETY Division

Oklahoma State University Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center

Revised from a fact sheet prepared by Jake Nelson.

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