State budget cutbacks have forced the State Board of Animal Health to cut back on state meat inspection. As a result, Indiana meat processors have had to drastically cut their slaughter and production time. Steve Beutler, with Beutler Meats in Lafayette, says they are down to one day a week of inspected slaughter, “There is just not a lot you can do in one, 8-hour period.”

This is resulting in less locally produced meat being available at retail stores and farmers’ markets. Meat sold at these locations must be inspected, while products that go back to farmers for their own use or freezer meat business do not need to have state inspection.

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