HD35 - The Study of the Fee Structure for the Voluntary Inspection of Bison, Fallow Deer and Ratites

Executive Summary:
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) undertook this study in response to House Resolution No. 645, passed by the 1997 General Assembly. The study resolution requested that VDACS study its current fee structure for the voluntary inspection of bison, fallow deer and ratites, as compared to actual costs incurred by VDACS, and suggest a fee structure which would reflect the actual cost of such inspections to VDACS.

Ratites, bison, and fallow deer are classified as non-amenable species by the Code of Federal Regulations (9 CFR 301.2 and 302.1). This means that inspection is not mandated by the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the Poultry Products Inspection Act. State meat and poultry inspection of amenable species is provided with matching federal funds by the USDA/Food Safety Inspection Program. These funds are not provided for inspection of non-amenable species. Therefore, when voluntary inspection of these unlisted species is requested by a processor, a fee is charged for those services by VDACS.

The study involved reviewing wage information to determine the actual cost incurred by the agency in conducting an inspection and surveying other states to determine their fees charged for voluntary inspection. The study also involved looking at alternatives to voluntary inspection at the federal and state levels.