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RULE §221.14Custom Exempt Slaughter and Processing; Low-Volume Poultry or Rabbit Slaughter Operations

(a) Custom slaughter requirements. The requirements of this section shall apply to the custom slaughter by any person of livestock, as defined in §221.12(b) of this title (relating to Meat and Poultry Inspection), delivered by or for the owner thereof for such slaughter, not for sale to the public and for the exclusive use of the owner, a member of the owner's household, or a nonpaying guest of the owner. The requirements of this section do not apply to hunter killed game animals, as defined in §221.12(b) of this title. The requirements of this section do not apply to processing of hunter killed exotic animals, or hunter killed feral swine, as defined in §221.12(b) of this title, provided persons engaged in such processing do not utilize the same facilities to engage in the receipt, storage, processing, or distribution of other meat and/or poultry food products.

  (1) Animals for slaughter. Only healthy animals, exhibiting no abnormalities, may be accepted for custom slaughter at custom slaughter establishments. Unhealthy or unsound animals are those that exhibit any condition that is not normally expected to be exhibited in a healthy and sound member of that species.

    (A) Examples of abnormal or unsound animals include animals that are not able to get up, or animals that have a missing or abnormal eye, swellings, rectal or vaginal prolapse, ocular or nasal discharge, a cough, or a limp.

    (B) Animals that have an obviously recent break of the lower leg (below the stifle or elbow) and are able to walk and stand are not considered to be unsound or unhealthy if no other abnormal conditions are noted.

  (2) Record keeping.

    (A) Operators of facilities conducting custom slaughter shall keep records for a period of two years, beginning on January 1 of the previous year plus the current year to date.

    (B) The records shall be available to department representatives on request.

    (C) Custom slaughter records shall contain the name, address, and telephone number of the owner of each animal presented, the date the animal was slaughtered, the species and brief description of the livestock. If a custom processor accepts farm slaughtered animals for custom processing, records shall contain a signed statement from the animal owner that the animal was healthy and exhibited no abnormalities, other than an obviously recent break to the lower leg (below the stifle or elbow) and was able to walk and stand at the time of slaughter.

    (D) Additional records that must be kept include records such as bills of sale, invoices, bills of lading, and receiving and shipping papers for transactions in which any livestock or carcass, meat or meat food product is purchased, sold, shipped, received, transported or otherwise handled by the custom slaughter establishment.

    (E) If the custom slaughter establishment also maintains a retail meat outlet, separate records as listed in subparagraph (D) of this paragraph, shall be maintained for each type of business conducted at the establishment.

  (3) Sanitary methods. Custom slaughter operations shall be maintained in sanitary condition. Each custom slaughter establishment shall comply with the requirements of 9 CFR, Part 416, adopted under §221.11 of this title (relating to Federal Regulations on Meat and Poultry Inspection). Establishments that accept farm slaughtered livestock must complete and document cleaning and sanitization of all surfaces and equipment used in the processing of the farm slaughtered livestock before those surfaces and equipment may be used to process other products.

  (4) Humane treatment of animals.

    (A) Livestock pens, driveways, and ramps shall be maintained in good repair and free from sharp or protruding objects which may cause injury or pain to the animals. Floors of livestock pens, ramps, and driveways shall be constructed and maintained so as to provide good footing for livestock.

    (B) A pen sufficient to protect livestock from the adverse climatic conditions of the locale shall be required at those custom slaughter establishments that hold animals overnight or through the day.

    (C) Animals shall have access to water in all holding pens and, if held longer than 24 hours, access to feed. There shall be sufficient room in the holding pen for animals held overnight to lie down.

    (D) Livestock must be humanely slaughtered in accordance with this section and 9 CFR §313, Humane Slaughter of Livestock, adopted by reference in §221.11 of this title. The slaughtering of livestock by using captive bolt stunners, electrical stunners, and shooting with firearms, are designated as humane methods of stunning.

      (i) The captive bolt stunners, electrical stunners, or delivery of a bullet or projectile shall be applied to the livestock in a manner so as to produce immediate unconsciousness in the animal before they are shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut. The animal shall be stunned in such a manner that they will be rendered unconscious with a minimum of excitement and discomfort.

      (ii) The driving of animals to the stunning area shall be done with a minimum of excitement and discomfort to the animals. Delivery of calm animals to the stunning area is essential since accurate placement of stunning equipment is difficult on nervous or injured animals. Electrical equipment shall be minimally used with the lowest effective voltage to drive the animal to the stunning area. Pipes, sharp or pointed objects, and other items which would cause injury or unnecessary pain to the animal shall not be used to drive livestock.

      (iii) Immediately after the stunning blow is delivered, the animals shall be in a state of complete unconsciousness and remain in this condition throughout shackling, sticking, and rapid exsanguination.

      (iv) Stunning instruments must be maintained in good repair and available for inspection by a department representative.

      (v) Inhumane treatment of animals is prohibited and any observed inhumane treatment of animals shall be subject to the tagging provisions of paragraph (6)(C) of this subsection in addition to possible enforcement action.

    (E) Establishments conducting ritual slaughter in accordance with 7 U.S.C. §1902(b).

      (i) Establishments conducting ritual slaughter must have a completed document, that is signed and dated by an appropriate authority attesting to the conduct of ritual slaughter at that establishment. This document must list, by name, the individuals authorized to perform ritual slaughter at that establishment.

      (ii) Establishments conducting ritual slaughter in accordance with 7 U.S.C. §1902(b) are exempt from the stunning requirements of this section and the requirements of 9 CFR §313.2(f), §313.5, §313.15, §313.16, §313.30, and §313.50(c) pertaining to stunning methods provided animals are humanely restrained and adequately restrained to prevent harm to the animal throughout the slaughter process.

  (5) Containers used for meat food products, paper, or other materials in contact with meat food products.

    (A) To avoid contamination of product, containers shall be lined with suitable material of good quality before packing.

    (B) Containers and trucks, or other means of conveyance in which any carcass or part is transported to the owner shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition.

    (C) Paper or other materials used for covering or lining containers and the cargo space of trucks, or other means of conveyance shall be of a kind which does not tear during use but remains intact and does not disintegrate when moistened by the product.

  (6) Tagging insanitary equipment, utensils, rooms, and carcasses.

    (A) A department representative may attach a "Texas Rejected" tag to any equipment, utensil, room, or compartment at a custom slaughter establishment that a department representative determines is insanitary and is a health hazard. No equipment, utensil, room, or compartment so tagged shall again be used until untagged or released by a department representative. Such tag shall not be removed by anyone other than a department representative.

    (B) A department representative that determines a carcass is adulterated, unfit for human food, is from an unhealthy or unsound animal, or could result in a health hazard, may attach a "Texas Retained" tag to the carcass and document the reason for attaching the tag on a form specified by the department and deliver the form to the operator of the custom slaughter establishment. The owner of the carcass shall be notified by the plant operator and advised of the potential health risk. The custom slaughter establishment shall ensure that the owner of the carcass either authorizes the voluntary destruction and denaturing of the carcass and all parts or agrees to remove the carcass from the custom slaughter establishment.


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