Special Exemption

Due to the closure of the only small poultry processing facility in North Carolina in fall of 2017, NCDA MPID State Director has granted a “special exemption” until a new USDA facility is up and running.  The special exemption allows poultry exempt operators to slaughter or process other persons’ poultry, provided all other provisions of MPID Notice 6-18 are followed.  This also means that poultry exempt operators can charge for use of their equipment and services and producers can bring all their birds to a central location to process.  

MPID Notice 6-18, “Requirements for the Producer/Grower 20,000 Poultry Exemption” item 7. reads:
“With the exception of mobile slaughter units, the facility used to slaughter or process the poultry is not used to slaughter or process another person’s poultry unless the State Director of Meat and Poultry Inspection grants an exemption.”

If you are a poultry exempt operator who wants to charge for their services/equipment and process for others you must:

Send the NCDA Meat and Poultry Inspection Director an email indicating you are an exempt processor and would like to offer your facility, your equipment on-farm, or stationary MPU on your farm for other poultry owners to process poultry under exemption and/or to provide processing services to other poultry owners who would be otherwise be eligible for exemption. Exemptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis and will expire at the end of each calendar year and new requests will need to be made at the start of the new calendar year to keep the list current and up-to-date.  The State Director will review and provide a letter back authorizing that producer to process.  You may also call the NCDA MPID office number directly with questions at 919-707-3180.

If you are a farmer interested in bringing your poultry to an exempt operator for slaughter:

NC Choices keeps a running list of MPU equipment for sale or rent and approved exempt operators, their contact information, and respective locations.  Scroll down for the map of exempt operators and MPUs. Labeling Requirements for Special Exemption for On-Farm Poultry Processing can be viewed here.

Please note: Farmers will not need to request permission each time they make their facility/equipment on farm available for another farm. Farmers would be well-advised to check with their insurance carrier before offering their facilities for this service.  Farmers using the service would be responsible for keeping their own records of the number of birds they had processed.


Poultry Processors Map

Poultry Operators

This is a public list of poultry exempt operators who have received short term approval from the Director of NCDA&CS Meat and Poultry Inspection Division to slaughter or process other person’s poultry (provided all other provisions of MPID Notice 6-14 are followed). NC Choices will regularly update this list as more exempt operators are approved for public service. View a list of operators below.

Mobile Processing Units to Rent

Equipment can be rented over state lines IF the other state(s) have poultry exemption laws in place as well (but product must be sold within state). If you have or know of someone who has MPU equipment for rent, please email NC Choices to share contact information.

Some processors offer both services.

View a list of operators approved to process under “Special Exemption” here and scroll below to view the map of exempt processors.  Be sure to select the appropriate year on the tab to see the current list of operators and their contact information. If you are a special exempt poultry operator not on the list, please email ncchoices_info@ncsu.edu with additional information.

View a list of nearest out-of-state USDA poultry processing plants here.

Find Mobile Processing Equipment or a Mobile Processing Unit here or scroll down and select ‘

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Additional Processing Resources

An overview of mobile unit case studies (mobile slaughter units, or MSUs, and mobile poultry processing units, MPPUs) is available from Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network here. Their full poultry resource page including case studies, sample budgets, sample building plans, and other information is available here.

Note of Disclaimer: All efforts were made to provide accurate and precise information pertaining to the laws and regulations surrounding the sale and processing of poultry and of red meats in NC. Due to the changing nature of the regulatory system, it is important to verify the accuracy of these statements with the responsible regulatory agency, NC Department of Agriculture Meat and Poultry Inspection Division.