The state Senate has given preliminary approval to a bill that allows uninspected chickens and other fowl to be sold in restaurants and farmers markets.
In hope to promote smaller small poultry operations, a bill to allow poultry farmers who sell fewer than 1,000 birds a year to avoid facilities inspections was endorsed.
Members of the Senate, however, said that the matter could have a significant impact on poultry farmers and consumers in Vermont.
Under current law, customers can buy uninspected bird meat at farms that slaughter and sell the poultry on site. But the bill that has recently passed the Senate would allow meat from such birds to be sold in restaurants as well, under some conditions.
Only farmers who slaughter less than 1,000 birds a year would qualify. The meat would also have to be labelled as uninspected.
Some poultry farmers of small operations would like to slaughter their own poultry – it is difficult to get into inspected slaughterhouses with a small number of birds.
Some opponents have raised the concern of tainted chicken sickening which will ruin Vermont’s image as a producer of wholesome products.