Meat & Livestock News

New Mexico Advances Meat Inspection Legislation


  • New Mexico is set to introduce a state meat inspection program to enhance food safety and support local ranchers.
  • The bipartisan bill, SB 37, aims to facilitate the sale of locally produced meat within the state, benefiting schools, childcare centres, senior meal sites, and local restaurants.

In a significant move towards bolstering food safety and supporting local agriculture, New Mexico is on the verge of enacting the Meat Inspection Act. Authored by Ryan McCarthy, this proposed legislation, known as SB 37, received bipartisan support and has successfully navigated through both the House and Senate. It now awaits the signature of Governor Michelle Grisham.

The Meat Inspection Act is designed to establish a state-run meat inspection program, under the auspices of the New Mexico Livestock Board. This initiative aims to ensure the safety and quality of meat available for human consumption within the state. Currently, a limited number of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) meat inspectors operate in New Mexico.

However, the introduction of this state-level program is expected to significantly benefit local ranchers. By allowing them to sell more products within New Mexico, it reduces the need to send livestock out of state for slaughter.

State Representative Gail Armstrong expressed her enthusiasm for the bill on her Facebook page, highlighting the eight-year journey to this point. She noted the positive impact this legislation would have on New Mexicans, enabling them to consume more locally grown and harvested beef. The bill’s provisions extend to enhancing the availability of local meat for schools, childcare centres, senior meal sites, and local restaurants.

Furthermore, the act will lead to the creation of an Office of Meat and Poultry Inspection within the New Mexico Livestock Board. This office will appoint an inspection director to oversee the new state requirements for meat processing and food safety. The effective date for the provisions of this act is set for July 1, 2024, marking a significant step forward in New Mexico’s commitment to food safety and local agriculture.