Maine adds to slaughtering capacity to ease meat bottleneck


ETNA, Maine (AP) — Maine regulators are attempting to address a meat processing bottleneck in the food supply chain by adding three new processors to the state’s food system.

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry said it authorized 90-day grants of inspection to custom slaughter operations in Crystal, Etna and Alexander. The facilities in Crystal and Alexander will be the first inspected livestock slaughterhouses in Aroostook and Washington counties, the department said.

Agriculture commissioner Amanda Beal said the change “eases the process and allows more locally raised meat to reach Maine people.” She said it would relieve extended wait times, which have been a problem for the meat industry recently.

The change took effect on June 1. The facilities will be restricted to in-state sales and must meet typical safety standards.