Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has authorized the state Department ofAgriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to begin the process of changing an administrative rule, ATCP 55, which governs meat inspection in the state. The goal, Walker says, is to incorporate federal regulations into state regulations so that meat from Wisconsin state-inspected specialty meat plants will be able to cross state lines.

The DATCP board is going to draft a statement outlining what a changed regulation is intended to do, then DATCP employees will draft rules for the changed regulation, followed by a public hearing and potential approval by the state's legislature, reports the Ashland Current.

"These small state-inspected meat processors have a vital place in our heritage, and now we can help assure they are just as important to our future," Walker said. "This new opportunity promises to increase their investments in personnel and capital, adding jobs and building the tax base in our state's rural areas."

Wisconsin has approximately 275 state-inspected meat plants and 145 federally inspected meat plants. Walker says that about 30 meat plants have already indicated to the DATCP that they want to sell their products interstate.

Source: Ashland Current