For any of you so inclined to help support some new changes to the Marin County Zoning Code which would allow for on farm slaughter, mobile slaughter facilities and brick and mortar facilities, there will be a hearing before the Marin County Planning Commission on Monday November 28, at 1:00pm.
See below for more info from an email sent by the Marin County Ag Ombudsman, Vince Trotter<marinagombudsman[at]gmail.com> 415.524.7394.
If you cannot attend, or even if you do plan to attend, please consider writing a letter to the Marin County Planning Commission in support so as many favorable voices as possible can be heard. (planningcommission[at]marincounty.org).
Thanks you very much,
From Vince Trotter – Marin County Ag Ombudsman
I have an update on Marin County’s rules regarding small-scale, on-farm slaughter of poultry/rabbits:
Essentially, the Planning Department has moved forward with proposing amendments to the Development Code that would expand ranchers’ access to slaughter/processing facilities small-scale slaughter by ranchers.
Now those amendments are going before the Planning Commission for consideration. If the Planning Commission approves the amendments, they would then go to the Board of Supervisors. Essentially, the County’s proposal is to allow:
- Brick-and-mortar slaughterhouses on large ag parcels and in certain industrial zones …with a use permit
- Mobile slaughter facilities on ag land … a use permit
- On-farm slaughter/processing on ag land of up to 20,000 poultry/rabbits per year by the rancher … a use permit.
On Tuesday (11/14), the Planning Department introduced these (and many other) amendments to the Planning Commission.
You can see the agenda and related documents here. For the sake of clarity, I’m also attaching the 3 Articles of the Development Code that contain the draft changes with the new language around slaughter highlighted. I’m also sending a memo recently submitted by the Planning Department that clarifies some of the changes.
On Monday, 11/28 at 1:00pm, the Planning Commission will take up these amendments in detail. I am in the process of working with the Marin UCCE Office to recruit some Marin County producers and ag advocates who could speak at that hearing. I think it’s important for the Planning Commission to hear from ranchers about the beneficial impact of an entry-scale opportunity. I’d also like the Commission to get a first-hand account of the challenges producers currently face and the ways these changes would actually transparency and integrity in the food system from an environmental and animal welfare perspective.
If you want more detail, give me a call. If you have a recommendation of a Marin poultry producer (egg or meat) that would benefit from the on-farm slaughter rule, let me know. If you know a Marin cow/goat/sheep/hog rancher that would benefit from a USDA mobile slaughter unit that could come and do ranch slaughter of 8-20 animals at a time, let me know. Both kinds of operations need representation in the hearing.