Subject: COLORADO: Tell Governor to Sign Local Meat Bill

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Hi Friend,

Senate Bill 21-079 (SB 21-079), also known as the Ranch to Plate Act, has passed out of the legislature and been sent to Governor Jared Polis for signature.

SB 21-079 exempts a sale of animals, animal shares (defined in the bill as an ownership interest of at least 1% in the meat of a live animal), and rabbit meat from licensing and inspection as long as the seller gives the buyer a document or displays a sign at the point of sale with the following disclaimer:

“The seller of this meat is not subject to licensure, and the sale of animals or meat from this seller is not subject to state regulation or inspection by a public health agency. Animals or meat purchased from this seller are not intended for resale.”

In addition, the animal, animal shares and meat being sold or delivered directly from the seller to an informed end consumer must be within Colorado.

The bill states that “animal” includes cattle, calves, sheep, elk, bison, goats, hogs and rabbits.

Sales of rabbit meat are legal under the bill as long as the seller is the one who raised, slaughtered and butchered the rabbit. The owner of an animal, animal share or meat may have the animal, animal share, or meat commercially slaughtered, butchered or processed at a custom facility. SB 21-079 provides that “processing may include making value-added products such as sausage or jerky.” Purchasers may not resell animal, animal shares or meat obtained under the provisions of the bill.

SB 21 represents a big opportunity to expand access to locally produced meat.

See below for action steps and please share with your family and friends in Colorado.   

Alexia Kulwiec
Executive Director

Call and/or email the governor’s office and ask that he sign SB 21-079. Calls are best but please do both. You may use any of the Talking Points below. Governor Jared Polis’ contact information is here.

Governor's Office, Front Desk: (303) 866-2471
State Capitol Building
200 E. Colfax Ave., Rm. 136
Denver, CO 80203 [Map]


1. The lack of slaughterhouse access for farmers and ranchers has worsened considerably over the past year, especially in states like Colorado which currently has no state meat inspection program. Passage of SB 21-079 would improve market access for farmers and ranchers.

2. Consumer demand for locally produced meat has increased tremendously; passage of the bill would better enable consumers to obtain the meat products they want.

3. Custom facilities have an excellent track record for safety. A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request obtained from USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service last year found that from 2012 to June 2020 there had not been a single foodborne illness attributed to the consumption of meat slaughtered and processed at a custom facility.

4. Even though state agencies are not regulating sales of animals and animal shares under the bill, those activities are still subject to USDA jurisdiction.



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