Colorado governor signs bill to deregulate local meat sales

It just got easier to buy local meat in Colorado, direct from the producer.

Gov. Jared Polis on Thursday signed into law a bipartisan bill, SB21-79, allowing people to buy shares of animals — including cattle, pigs and sheep — before they are butchered. The producer also will be able to distribute the shares without it needing to be inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

These sales already take place in parts of Colorado, but the bill formalizes the process. Producers will have to inform customers up front that the meat hasn’t been inspected by the government, and those customers will not be allowed to sue if they get sick.

Polis called “food freedom” an “important American value.”

“It would be better if this was federal,” he said of the state’s new policy. “Because we all know Colorado meat is the best. It could be sold in Nebraska and Texas and California.”

The law unanimously passed both chambers of the legislature and takes effect immediately. It applies only to cattle, calves, sheep, elk, bison, goats, hogs and rabbits. Other mammals and fish aren’t included.

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