TITLE XL
AGRICULTURE, HORTICULTURE AND ANIMAL HUSBANDRY

Chapter 427
LIVESTOCK AND MEAT INSPECTION

Meat Inspection

Section 427:1

    427:1 Declaration of Policy. – Meat and meat food products are an important element in our state's total food supply. To protect the health and welfare of consumers, meat, and meat food products produced and distributed in the state should be wholesome, unadulterated, and properly marked, labeled, and packaged. Allowing the sale or distribution of meat and meat food products that fail to meet this standard would not only endanger the public health, but also disadvantage those livestock producers and meat processors who maintain proper standards. It is hereby found that in order to protect the health and welfare of consumers and maintain the state's infrastructure for producing high quality livestock and meat, it is appropriate that the commissioner, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), regulate livestock production and meat processing.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2017, 145:1, eff. Aug. 15, 2017.

Section 427:1-a

    427:1-a Applicability. –
I. The purposes and requirements of this chapter may be fulfilled for both intrastate and interstate distribution and sale of meat and meat products by adhering to the requirements of the USDA detailed in 21 U.S.C. chapters 10 and 12.
II. The purposes of this chapter may be fulfilled for intrastate sale of meat by adhering to the provisions of this subdivision if authorized by the USDA.
III. The purposes of this chapter may be fulfilled for interstate sale of meat by adhering to the provisions of this subdivision if authorized by the USDA, pursuant to all constraints established by the USDA.

Source. 2000, 142:1, eff. July 22, 2000. 2008, 57:1, eff. July 20, 2008. 2011, 130:1, eff. Aug. 5, 2011. 2017, 145:2, eff. Aug. 15, 2017.

Section 427:2

    427:2 Definitions. –
As used in this subdivision, except as otherwise specified, the following terms shall have the following meanings stated below:
I. "Commissioner" means the commissioner of agriculture, markets, and food or his or her delegate.
II. "Firm" means any partnership, association, or other unincorporated business organization.
III. "Intrastate commerce" means commerce within this state.
IV. "Meat food product" means any product capable of use as human food which is made wholly or in part from any meat or other portion of the carcass of any cattle, sheep, swine, or goats, excepting products which contain meat or other portions of such carcasses only in a relatively small portion or historically have not been considered by consumers as products of the meat food industry, and which are exempted from definition as a meat food product by the commissioner under such conditions as the commissioner may prescribe to assure that the meat or other portions of such carcasses contained in such product are not adulterated and that such products are not represented as meat food products. This term as applied to food products of equines shall have a meaning comparable to that provided in this paragraph with respect to cattle, sheep, swine, and goats.
V. "Capable of use as human food" shall apply to any carcass, or part or product of a carcass, of any animal, unless it is denatured or otherwise identified as required by rules adopted by the commissioner to deter its use as human food, or it is naturally inedible by humans.
VI. "Prepared" means slaughtered, canned, salted, rendered, boned, cut up, or otherwise manufactured or processed.
VII. "Adulterated" shall apply to any carcass, part thereof, meat or meat food product under one or more of the following circumstances:
(a) If it bears or contains any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render it injurious to health; but in case the substance is not an added substance, such article shall not be considered adulterated under this paragraph if the quality of such substance in or on such article does not ordinarily render it injurious to health;
(b) If it bears or contains by reasons of administration of any substance to the live animal or otherwise any added poisonous or added deleterious substance other than one which is:
(1) A pesticide chemical in or on a raw agricultural commodity;
(2) A food additive; or
(3) A color additive which may not, in the judgment of the commissioner, make such article unfit for human food;
(c) If it is, in whole or in part, a raw agricultural commodity and such commodity bears or contains a pesticide chemical which is unsafe within the meaning of section 408 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act;
(d) If it bears or contains any food additive which is unsafe within the meaning of section 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act;
(e) If it bears or contains any color additive which is unsafe within the meaning of section 706 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; provided that an article which is not adulterated under subparagraph (c), (d), or (e) shall nevertheless be deemed adulterated if use of the pesticide chemical, food additive, or color additive in or on such article is prohibited by rules of the commissioner in establishments at which inspection is maintained under this subdivision;
(f) If it consists in whole or in part of any filthy, putrid, or decomposed substance or is for any other reason unsound, unhealthful, unwholesome, or otherwise unfit for human food;
(g) If it has been prepared, packed, or held under unsanitary conditions whereby it may have become contaminated with filth, or whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health;
(h) If it is, in whole or in part, the product of an animal which has died otherwise than by slaughter;
(i) If its container is composed, in whole or in part, of any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render the contents injurious to health;
(j) If it has been intentionally subjected to radiation, unless the use of the radiation was in conformity with a regulation or exemption in effect pursuant to section 409 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act;
(k) If any valuable constituent has been in whole or in part omitted or abstracted therefrom; or if any substance has been substituted, wholly or in part therefor; or if damage or inferiority has been concealed in any manner; or if any substance has been added thereto or mixed or packed therewith so as to increase its bulk or weight, or reduce its quality or strength, or make it appear better or of greater value than it is; or
(l) If it is margarine containing animal fat and any of the raw material used therein consisted in whole or in part of any filthy, putrid, or decomposed substance.
VIII. "Misbranded" shall apply to any carcass, part thereof, meat or meat food product under one or more of the following circumstances:
(a) If its labeling is false or misleading in any particular;
(b) If it is offered for sale under the name of another food;
(c) If it is an imitation of another food, unless its label bears, in type of uniform size and prominence, the word "imitation" followed immediately by the name of the food imitated;
(d) If its container is so made, formed, or filled as to be misleading;
(e) If it is in a package or other container unless it bears a label showing:
(1) The name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor; and
(2) An accurate statement of the quantity of the contents in terms of weight, measure, or numerical count; provided that under this subparagraph, reasonable variations may be permitted, and exemptions as to small packages may be established by the commissioner;
(f) If any word, statement, or other information required by or under authority of this subdivision to appear on the label or other labeling is not prominently placed thereon with such conspicuousness as compared with other words, statements, designs, or devices in the labeling and in such terms as to render it likely to be read and understood by the ordinary individual under customary conditions of purchase and use;
(g) If it purports to be or is represented as a food for which a definition and standard of identity or composition has been established by the commissioner unless:
(1) It conforms to such definition and standard, and
(2) Its label bears the name of the food specified in the definition and standard and, insofar as may be required by the commissioner, the common names of optional ingredients, other than spices, flavoring, and coloring, present in such food;
(h) If it purports to be or is represented as a food for which a standard or standards of fill of container have been established by the commissioner, and it falls below the standard of fill of container applicable thereto, unless its label bears, in such manner and form as the commissioner has specified, a statement that it falls below such standard;
(i) If it is not subject to the provisions of subparagraph (g), unless its label bears:
(1) The common or usual name of the food, if there is any, and
(2) In case it is fabricated from 2 or more ingredients, the common or usual name of each such ingredient; except that spices, flavorings, and colorings may be designated as spices, flavorings, and colorings without naming each; provided that, to the extent that compliance with the requirements of this subparagraph is impracticable, or results in deception or unfair competition, exemptions shall be established by the commissioner;
(j) If it purports to be or is represented for special dietary uses, unless its label bears such information concerning its vitamin, mineral, and other dietary properties as the commissioner, after consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States, determines to be necessary in order to fully inform purchasers as to its value for such uses;
(k) If it bears or contains any artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, or chemical preservative, unless it bears labeling stating that fact; provided that, to the extent that compliance with the requirements of this subparagraph is impracticable, exemptions shall be established by the commissioner; or
(l) If it fails to bear, directly thereon or on its container, as the commissioner may require, the inspection legend and, unrestricted by any of the foregoing, such other information as the commissioner may require to assure that it will not have false or misleading labeling and that the public will be informed of the manner of handling required to maintain the article in a wholesome condition.
IX. "Label" means a display of written, printed, or graphic matter upon the immediate container, not including package liners, of any article.
X. "Labeling" means all labels and other written, printed, or graphic matter:
(a) Upon any article or any of its containers or wrappers; or
(b) Accompanying such article.
XI. "Federal Meat Inspection Act" means the act so entitled, approved March 4, 1907 (34 Stat. 1260), as amended by the Wholesome Meat Act (81 Stat. 584).
XII. "Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act" means the act so entitled, approved June 25, 1938 (52 Stat. 1040), and acts amending or supplementing that act.
XIII. "Pesticide chemical," "food additive," "color additive," and "raw agricultural commodity" shall have the same meanings for purposes of this subdivision as under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
XIV. "Official mark" means the official inspection legend or any other symbol adopted by rules of the commissioner to identify the status of any article or animal under this subdivision.
XV. "Official inspection legend" means any symbol adopted by rules of the commissioner showing that an article was inspected and passed in accordance with this subdivision.
XVI. "Official certificate" means any certificate adopted by rules of the commissioner for issuance by an inspector or other person performing official functions under this subdivision.
XVII. "Official device" means any device prescribed or authorized by the commissioner for use in applying any official mark.
XVIII. "Livestock" shall include but not be limited to all beef and dairy cattle, steer, oxen, goats, sheep, swine, horses, mules, or other equidae, as well as domesticated strains of buffalo, bison, llamas, alpacas, emus, ostriches, rabbits, yaks, elk (Cervus canadensis), fallow deer (Dama dama), red deer (Cervus elephus), reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), and poultry.
XIX. "Meat inspector" means a person who examines and inspects all livestock and all carcasses and parts thereof, and all meat and meat food products thereof, and the sanitary conditions of all establishments in which such meat and meat food products are prepared.
XX. "Certified meat inspector" means a person who is validly and currently certified as a meat inspector in this state.
XXI. "Establishment" means a facility in which livestock or poultry are slaughtered and packed or a facility in which meat food products are processed.
XXII. "Slaughter" means the act of killing livestock for human consumption.
XXIII. "Poultry" means any domesticated bird, whether alive or dead.
XXIV. "Poultry producer" means any person who raises poultry and uses it for meat.

Source. 1985, 72:1. 1995, 130:5, eff. July 23, 1995. 2011, 130:1, eff. Aug. 5, 2011. 2014, 97:3, eff. Aug. 10, 2014.

Section 427:2-a

    427:2-a Exemptions. –
I. The provisions of this subdivision requiring inspection of the slaughter of animals and the preparation of the carcasses, parts thereof, meat, and meat food products at establishments conducting such operations shall not apply to:
(a) The slaughtering by any person of animals of his or her own raising, and the preparation by him or her and transportation of the carcasses, parts thereof, meat, and meat food products of such animals exclusively for use by him or her and members of his or her household and his or her nonpaying guests and employees.
(b) The custom slaughtering, consistent with 21 U.S.C. section 623(a) or 21 U.S.C. section 464(c), by any person, firm, or corporation of livestock delivered by the owner thereof for such slaughter.
(c) The preparation by such slaughterer and transportation of the carcasses, parts thereof, meat, and meat food products of such animals, exclusively for use, in the household of such owner, by him or her and members of his or her household and his or her nonpaying guests and employees, provided that such custom slaughterer does not engage in the business of buying or selling any carcasses, parts of carcasses, meat, or meat food products of any livestock capable of use as human food.
II. Operations of types traditionally and usually conducted at retail stores and restaurants, when conducted at any retail store or restaurant or similar retail-type establishment for sale in normal retail quantities or service of such articles to consumers at such establishments shall follow requirements of version of the United States Food and Drug Administration Food Code currently in use for New Hampshire department of health and human services rulemaking.
III. Exempt Poultry Slaughter. The commissioner shall exempt the following from state meat inspection requirements as detailed below.
(a) Producers of 1,000 birds or fewer annually with respect to poultry of their own raising on their own farms if such producers slaughter not more than 1,000 poultry during the calendar year for which this exemption is being determined and such poultry producers do not engage in buying or selling poultry products other than those produced from poultry raised on their own farms, and such poultry is only sold within the state of New Hampshire, directly to the consumer at the farm or at a farmers market, or to restaurants pursuant to RSA 143-A:16, and such producers follow USDA regulations and prescribed sanitary standards, practices, and procedures.
(b) Producers or processors of 20,000 birds or fewer annually who are not otherwise engaged in the sale of poultry or poultry products, who follow USDA regulations and prescribed sanitary standards, practices, and procedures, and whose activity is either:
(1) The slaughtering and processing of poultry products in New Hampshire by any poultry producer on his or her own premises with respect to sound and healthy poultry raised on his or her premises and the distribution by any person solely within the state of New Hampshire, if, in lieu of other labeling requirements, such poultry products are identified with the name and address of such poultry producer, and if they are not otherwise misbranded, and are sound, clean, and fit for human food when so distributed; or
(2) The slaughtering of sound and healthy poultry or the processing of poultry products of such poultry in New Hampshire by any poultry producer or other person for distribution by him or her solely within New Hampshire directly to household consumers, restaurants, hotels, and boarding houses, for use in their own dining rooms, or in the preparation of meals for sales direct to consumers, if, in lieu of other labeling requirements, such poultry products are identified with the name and address of the processor, and if they are not otherwise misbranded and are sound, clean, and fit for human food when distributed by such processor.
(c) Establishments which have been granted exemptions by the Secretary of the USDA under 21 U.S.C. section 464(2) or (3).
IV. The slaughter of bison on a farm for purposes of sale, as provided in RSA 143-A:5, IX, shall be exempt from the provisions of this subdivision requiring inspection of the slaughter of animals and preparation of the carcasses, parts thereof, meat, and meat food products for sale within this state to the public. The slaughter of a bison under this paragraph shall be permitted only:
(a) When the owner of the bison designates a slaughter area on the farm premises.
(b) When the bison is slaughtered in a humane method, as defined in RSA 427:33, III, by the owner or the owner's full time or seasonal employee.
(c) From September 1 to April 30.
(d) When no more than 12 hours passes from the time of slaughter to the placement of the carcass in a refrigerated facility at or below 41 degrees Fahrenheit.
(e) When a veterinarian licensed under RSA 332-B conducts an ante-mortem examination of each bison on the day of slaughter, witnesses the slaughter, conducts a post-mortem examination of the carcass, and documents his or her examinations in the report required under subparagraph (f).
(f) When the veterinarian and owner make a report of the slaughter on a form or forms provided by the state veterinarian which contains the following:
(1) Name, address, and phone number of animal owner and the location of the farm.
(2) Identification number on animal to assure same carcass arrives at the processing facility.
(3) Date and time of slaughter and the time of each examination.
(4) Statement that examinations were visual.
(5) Statement that live animal was examined both at rest and in motion.
(6) Ante-mortem examination stating live animal is free from any observed abnormalities, including but not limited to:
(A) No observed lameness, stiffness, abnormal body positions (e.g. tucked abdomen, arched back, extended neck or tail, etc.).
(B) No abnormal discharges or odors.
(C) No blisters or vesicles observed.
(D) No abnormal growths, swellings, enlargements, injuries, loss of hair or other skin lesions, infestations (e.g. maggots), labored breathing, or diarrhea.
(E) Animal did not appear abnormally nervous or restless, excessively anxious or upset, depressed, disinterested, or blind.
(F) Animal did not stagger, circle, head press, salivate excessively, rub or scratch excessively.
(G) Both eyes present and normal.
(7) Post-mortem examination stating carcass is free from any observed abnormalities, including but not limited to:
(A) Mouth, tongue, and eyes appear normal.
(B) Lymph nodes appear normal.
(C) No observed lumps, bumps, or growths.
(D) No abnormal odors or discharges.
(E) No adhesions or ongoing infectious processes.
(8) This statement: "A veterinarian licensed to practice in the state shall be held harmless from either criminal or civil liability for any decisions made for services rendered in good faith under the provisions of RSA 427:16, XII. Such a veterinarian is, therefore, protected from a lawsuit for his or her part in any illness, product quality failure, or other concern resulting from the products of this animal." Liability for any illness or product quality failure shall rest solely and completely with the animal owner.
(9) A certification by the animal owner that this animal is free from antibiotic, dewormer, and chemical residues, and that the label instructions were followed regarding the withdrawal of such substances.
(10) Signature blocks for both the veterinarian and the animal owner, signed by both.
(g) When such animal is transported to and processed at a facility that is eligible to conduct custom exempt activities as regulated by the USDA pursuant to 21 U.S.C. section 623(a) and associated Departmental regulations.
(h) When the owner of the bison retains the original copy of the report made in subparagraph (f). A copy of such report shall accompany the bison carcass to the processing facility. The processing facility shall retain a copy of the report for one year.
(i) When bison meat is ground for sale, it is tested by the processing facility for Escherichia coli and salmonella at the bison owner's expense. All aspects of the testing, including sampling, shall be done in a manner that complies with standards and procedures of the USDA, and may include the services of an outside laboratory. The owner of the meat shall not sell it until he or she is in receipt of the test result that indicates the product is safe to eat. The test result shall be kept by the owner for at least one year.
(j) Prior to sale, as provided in RSA 143-A:5, IX, it is labeled as required in RSA 143-A:19.

Source. 2017, 145:3, eff. Aug. 15, 2017.

Section 427:3

    427:3 Meat Inspection Program Established. –
I. There is created within the department of agriculture, markets, and food, division of animal industry, a meat inspection program which is charged with the enforcement of this subdivision. The state veterinarian shall be the chief of said service. There is hereby established the full-time classified position of meat inspection program administrator. The meat inspection program administrator shall be under the direction and supervision of the state veterinarian and shall enforce the provisions of this subdivision.
II. [Repealed.]

Source. 1985, 72:1. 1995, 130:4, eff. July 23, 1995. 2011, 130:1, eff. Aug. 5, 2011. 2021, 19:7, I, eff. July 5, 2021.

Section 427:3-a

    427:3-a Rulemaking. –
I. The commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to:
(a) Procedures used in ante mortem and postmortem inspections, quarantine, segregation, and reinspections with respect to the slaughter of livestock and the preparation of meat food products at all establishments in this state, including procedures for obtaining access to establishments under RSA 427:6.
(b) The sanitation for all establishments required to be inspected under this subdivision.
(c) The identification of carcasses, parts of carcasses, meat or meat food products that are intended for human consumption prior to being sold, transported, offered for sale or transport, or received for transport. Such identification requirements shall include the identification of the kinds of animals from which the products were derived.
(d) The identification of carcasses, parts of carcasses, meat or meat food products that are not intended for human consumption prior to sale or transportation.
(e) The issuance of shipper's certificates or other nonofficial or official certificates.
(f) Requirements for the registration and registration renewal of establishments regulated by this subdivision.
(g) The duties of meat inspectors certified under this subdivision.
(h) The application procedure for meat inspector certification under this subdivision.
(i) The qualifications of applicants for meat inspector certification to practice as a meat inspector in addition to those requirements set by statute.
(j) How an applicant for meat inspector certification shall be examined, including the time and place of the examination and any requirements for supervision during a probationary period.
(k) How meat inspector certification under this subdivision shall be renewed or reinstated, including late fees and any requirements for continuing education.
(l) The establishment of all fees required under this subdivision.
(m) Procedures for the filing of complaints and conduct of hearings consistent with the requirements of due process.
(n) The determination of disciplinary sanctions authorized by this subdivision, including the determination of administrative fines.
(o) Procedures for periodic review of the work of certified inspectors and registered establishments.
II. The commissioner may adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to:
(a) Conditions for limiting entry of carcasses, parts of carcasses, meat and meat food products, and other materials into inspected establishments consistent with the purposes of this subdivision.
(b) The styles and sizes of type to be used with respect to material required to be incorporated in labeling to avoid false or misleading labeling of any articles or animals subject to this subdivision.
(c) Definitions and standards of identity or composition for articles subject to this subdivision and standards of fill of container for such articles not inconsistent with any such standards established under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act or under the Federal Meat Inspection Act. There shall be consultation between the commissioner and the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States prior to the issuance of such standards to avoid inconsistency between such standards and the federal standards.
(d) Conditions under which carcasses, part of carcasses, meat, and meat food products of livestock, capable of use as human food, shall be stored or otherwise handled by any person, firm, or corporation engaged in the business of buying, selling, freezing, storing, or transporting such articles in or for commerce. Such rules may be adopted whenever the commissioner deems such action necessary to assure that such articles will not be adulterated or misbranded when delivered to the consumer.
(e) Transactions involving, including the transportation of, animals that died by means other than slaughter, to ensure that they are not used for human food purposes.

Source. 2011, 130:1, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:4

    427:4 Examination and Inspection. –
For the purpose of preventing the use in commerce of meat and meat food products which are adulterated, the commissioner shall certify meat inspectors to conduct:
I. An examination and inspection of all livestock before they shall be allowed to enter into any slaughtering establishment in this state in which slaughtering and preparation of meat and meat food products of such animals are conducted solely for commerce:
(a) All livestock found on such inspection to show symptoms of disease shall be set apart and slaughtered separately from all other livestock; and
(b) When so slaughtered, the carcasses of said livestock shall be subject to a careful examination and inspection, all as provided by the rules adopted by the commissioner pursuant to RSA 541-A.
II. A postmortem examination and inspection of the carcasses and parts thereof of all livestock capable of use as human food, to be prepared at any slaughtering, establishment in this state in which such articles are prepared solely for intrastate commerce, and interstate commerce when authorized. After the examination:
(a) The carcasses and parts thereof of all such animals found to be not adulterated shall be marked, stamped, tagged, or labeled, as "New Hampshire Inspected and Passed" and all carcasses and parts thereof of animals found to be adulterated shall be marked, stamped, tagged, or labeled as "New Hampshire Inspected and Condemned";
(b) All carcasses and parts thereof thus inspected and condemned shall be destroyed for food purposes by the establishment in the presence of an inspector;
(c) Said inspectors, after the first inspection, shall, when they deem it necessary, reinspect the carcasses or parts thereof to determine whether, since the first inspection, the same have become adulterated. If any carcass or any part thereof shall, upon examination and inspection subsequent to the first examination and inspection, be found to be adulterated, it shall be destroyed for food purposes by the establishment in the presence of an inspector; and
(d) The commissioner may remove inspectors from any establishment which fails to destroy any such condemned carcass or part thereof when the requirements of either subparagraph II(b) or (c) have not been observed.
III. An examination and inspection of all meat food products prepared in any slaughtering establishment, where such articles are prepared solely for commerce.
IV. The slaughter of certain poultry under RSA 427:2-a shall be exempted from this section.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:1, eff. Aug. 5, 2011. 2017, 145:14, eff. Aug. 15, 2017.

Section 427:5

    427:5 Coverage of Inspection Provisions. –
I. The provisions of RSA 427:4 shall apply to all carcasses or parts of carcasses of livestock or the meat or meat products thereof, capable of use as human food, which may be brought into any slaughtering establishment, where inspection under this subdivision is maintained. The provisions of RSA 427:4 may be voluntarily applied to those species that are capable of use as human food though not included in the definition of livestock in this subdivision. An animal owner may elect to adhere to these provisions with the concurrence of the commissioner. Once such animals have entered an inspected establishment, they shall adhere to the same standards and requirements as all livestock in the establishment.
II. Such examination and inspection shall be had before the carcasses or parts thereof shall be allowed to enter into any department where they are to be treated and prepared for meat food products.
III. The provisions of RSA 427:4 shall also apply to all such products which, after having been issued from any such slaughtering, or similar establishment, shall be returned to the same or to any similar establishment where such inspection is maintained.
IV. The commissioner may limit the entry of carcasses, parts of carcasses, meat and meat food products, and other materials into any establishment at which inspection under this subdivision is maintained.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:1, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:6

    427:6 Access to Premises. –
For the purposes of any examination and inspection:
I. Certified meat inspectors shall have access, by day or night, whether the establishment is operating or not, to every part of establishments subject to the provisions of this subdivision, provided that they have the written authorization of the commissioner for such access.
II. Said inspectors shall mark, stamp, tag, or label as "New Hampshire Inspected and Passed" all such products found to be not adulterated.
III. Said inspectors shall label, mark, stamp, or tag as "New Hampshire Inspected and Condemned" all such products found adulterated, and all such condemned meat food products shall be destroyed for food purposes.
IV. Said inspectors shall label, mark, stamp, or tag as "New Hampshire Inspected; Results Pending," all such food products that have been inspected but for which final test results have not been received.
V. The commissioner may remove inspectors from any establishment which fails to so destroy such condemned meat food products.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:1, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:7

    427:7 Labeling Requirements. –
I. When any meat or meat food product prepared for commerce which has been inspected and marked "New Hampshire Inspected and Passed" shall be placed or packed in any can, pot, tin, canvas, or other receptacle or covering in any establishment where inspection under the provisions of this subdivision is maintained, the person, firm, or corporation preparing the product shall cause a label to be attached to said can, pot, tin, canvas, or other receptacle or covering, under supervision of an inspector. The label shall state that the contents have been "New Hampshire Inspected and Passed" under the provisions of this subdivision.
II. No inspection and examination of meat or meat food products deposited or enclosed in cans, tins, pots, canvas, or other receptacles or coverings in any establishment where inspection under the provisions of this subdivision is maintained shall be deemed to be complete until such meat or meat food products have been sealed or enclosed in said can, tin, pot, canvas, or other receptacle or covering under the supervision of an inspector.
III. All carcasses, parts of carcasses, meat and meat food products inspected at any establishment under the authority of this subdivision and found to be not adulterated shall, at the time they leave the establishment, bear, in distinctly legible form, directly thereon or on their containers, as the commissioner may require, the information required under RSA 427:2, VII.
IV. No article subject to this subdivision shall be sold or offered for sale by any person, firm, or corporation, in commerce under any name or other marking or labeling which is false or misleading, or in any container of a misleading form or size; but established trade names and other marking and labeling and containers which are not false or misleading and which are approved by the commissioner are permitted.
V. If the commissioner has reason to believe that any marking or labeling or the size or form of any container in use or proposed for use with respect to any article subject to this subdivision is false or misleading in any particular, the commissioner may direct that such use be withheld unless the marking, labeling, or container is modified in such manner as he or she may prescribe so that it will not be false or misleading. If the person, firm, or corporation using or proposing to use the marking, labeling, or container does not accept the determination of the commissioner, such person, firm, or corporation may request a hearing, but the use of the marking, labeling, or container shall, if the commissioner so directs, be withheld pending hearing and final determination by the commissioner. Any such determination by the commissioner shall be conclusive unless, within 30 days after receipt of notice of such final determination, the person, firm, or corporation adversely affected thereby appeals to the superior court in compliance with RSA 541.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:1, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:8

    427:8 Sanitation Requirements. –
I. Certified meat inspectors shall inspect all slaughtering establishments in which livestock are slaughtered and the meat and meat food products thereof are prepared solely for commerce as may be necessary to inform the inspector concerning the sanitary conditions of them.
II. Where the sanitary conditions of any such establishment are such that the meat or meat food products are rendered adulterated, said meat or meat food products shall be labeled, marked, stamped, or tagged as "New Hampshire Inspected and Condemned."

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:1, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:9

    427:9 Times of Examination and Inspection. – A certified meat inspector shall be present in all establishments at any time during which livestock are slaughtered for the purposes of commerce, except exempted slaughter of certain poultry under RSA 427:2-a.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:1, eff. Aug. 5, 2011. 2017, 145:15, eff. Aug. 15, 2017.

Section 427:10

    427:10 Commercial Control. –
No person, firm, or corporation shall, with respect to livestock, or any carcasses, parts of carcasses, meat or meat food products of any such animals:
I. Slaughter any such animals or prepare any such articles which are capable of use as human food at any establishments preparing such articles solely for commerce except in compliance with the requirements of this subdivision.
II. Sell, transport, offer for sale or transportation, or receive for transportation, in commerce:
(a) Any such articles which:
(1) Are capable of use as human food, and
(2) Are adulterated or misbranded at the time of such sale, transportation, offer for sale or transportation, or receipt for transportation; or
(b) Any articles required to be inspected under this subdivision, unless they have been so inspected and passed, by a certified state meat inspector or a federal meat inspector.
III. Do, with respect to any such articles which are capable of use as human food, any act while they are being transported in commerce or held for sale after such transportation, which is intended to cause or has the effect of causing such articles to be adulterated or misbranded.
IV. In addition, no person, firm, or corporation shall with respect to poultry, meat, or meat products of any such animals:
(a) Sell, transport, offer for sale or transportation, or receive for transportation, in intrastate commerce, or from an establishment, any slaughtered poultry from which the blood, feathers, feet, head, or viscera have not been removed in accordance with rules adopted by the state veterinarian, except as may be authorized by rules of the commissioner.
(b) Use to his or her own advantage, or reveal to other than authorized representatives of the state or any other government, in their official capacity, or as ordered by a court in any judicial proceeding, any information acquired under the authority of this subdivision concerning any matter which is entitled to protection as a trade secret.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:1, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:11

    427:11 Misuse of Official Identification Marks. –
I. No brand manufacturer, printer, or other person, firm, or corporation shall cast, print, lithograph, or otherwise make any device containing any official mark or simulation thereof, or any label bearing any such mark or simulation, or any form of official certificate or simulation thereof, except as authorized by the commissioner.
II. No person, firm, or corporation shall:
(a) Forge any official device, mark, or certificate.
(b) Without authorization from the commissioner, use any official device, mark, or certificate, or simulation thereof, or alter, detach, deface, or destroy any official device, mark, or certificate.
(c) Contrary to the rules adopted by the commissioner, fail to use, or to detach, deface, or destroy any official device, mark, or certificate.
(d) Knowingly possess, without promptly notifying the commissioner or his or her representative, any official device or any counterfeit, simulated, forged, or improperly altered official certificate or any device or label or any carcass of any animal, or part or product thereof, bearing any counterfeit, simulated, forged, or improperly altered official mark.
(e) Knowingly make any false statement in any shipper's certificate or other nonofficial or official certificate provided for in the rules adopted by the commissioner.
(f) Knowingly represent that any article has been inspected and passed or exempted under this subdivision when, in fact, it has not been so inspected and passed or exempted.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:1, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:12

    427:12 Repealed by 2011, 130:11, I, eff. Aug. 5, 2011. –

Section 427:13

    427:13 Separate Slaughtering. – When required by the commissioner with respect to establishments at which inspection is maintained under this subdivision, animals and their carcasses, parts thereof, meat and meat food products shall be prepared in establishments separate from those in which cattle, sheep, swine, or goats are slaughtered or their carcasses, parts thereof, meat or meat food products are prepared.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985.

Section 427:14

    427:14 Inspectors; Certification and Duties. –
I. No person shall practice as a meat inspector in this state, except as permitted in RSA 427:2-a, without certification issued under this subdivision. The commissioner shall certify any person who receives a passing score on a meat inspector examination approved by the commissioner and pays all required fees. The commissioner may require supervision for a probationary period for new certificate holders pursuant to rules adopted under RSA 541-A.
II. Fees, fines, and administrative charges established for the certification program and the auditing program shall be deposited in the general fund.
III. Said inspectors shall refuse to stamp, mark, tag, or label any carcass or any part thereof, or meat product therefrom, prepared in any such establishment until the same shall have actually been inspected and found to be not adulterated.
IV. The inspectors shall perform such other duties as are provided by this subdivision and by rules adopted by the commissioner.
V. All inspections and examinations made under this subdivision shall be made as described in the rules adopted by the commissioner.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:2, eff. Aug. 5, 2011. 2017, 145:16, eff. Aug. 15, 2017. 2021, 19:8, eff. July 5, 2021.

Section 427:14-a

    427:14-a Periodic Review; Establishments, Inspectors. –
I. The commissioner may direct certified meat inspectors designated by the department to periodically review registered establishments to assure that the provisions of this subdivision are complied with and that the public health, safety, and welfare are protected.
II. Any periodic review shall include an examination of the establishment's sanitation practices; sanitation of the areas where meat products are prepared, stored, and displayed; the adequacy of any refrigeration system used for meat food products; labeling; and meat food products for wholesomeness and adulteration. In addition, the inspector conducting the periodic review may conduct any other examination necessary to assure compliance with this chapter.
III. The inspector may issue a stop sale or use order for any violation of this chapter, or of the rules adopted pursuant to this chapter. Any person receiving a stop sale or use order shall immediately remove the meat, or meat food product from sale, or shall immediately cease to use any equipment or area as directed by the order until the order is lifted. The inspector may lift a stop sale or use order once he or she has determined that the violation has been corrected. Any person receiving a stop sale or use order may appeal the decision to the commissioner within 5 days of receiving the order.
IV. After discovery of a violation of this chapter, or the rules adopted pursuant to this chapter, the commissioner may take any additional action against the establishment or a certified meat inspector which he or she deems appropriate, including instituting a disciplinary proceeding and causing a civil, equitable, or criminal court proceeding to be brought against the establishment or inspector.

Source. 2011, 130:3, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:14-b

    427:14-b Disciplinary Action, Certified Meat Inspectors. –
I. The commissioner may undertake disciplinary proceedings:
(a) Upon his or her own initiative; or
(b) Upon written complaint of any person which charges that an establishment or a person certified by the commissioner has committed misconduct under paragraph II and which specifies the grounds therefor.
II. The commissioner, after notice and the opportunity to be heard, may refuse to issue a certificate or impose sanctions against a certificate holder, when he or she has evidence that the certificate holder or applicant has engaged in professional misconduct. Misconduct sufficient to support adverse action shall include:
(a) The practice of fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure or renew a certificate to practice under this subdivision.
(b) Conviction of a felony or any offense involving moral turpitude.
(c) Unprofessional, unethical, or dishonorable conduct unworthy of, and affecting the practice of meat inspection.
(d) Unfitness or incompetency by reason of negligent habits or other causes, or negligent or willful acts performed in a manner inconsistent with the interests of persons relying on the expertise of the licensee.
(e) Addiction to the use of alcohol or other habit-forming drugs to a degree which renders the certificate holder unfit to practice under this subdivision.
(f) Mental or physical incompetency to practice under this subdivision.
(g) Willful or repeated violation of the provisions of this subdivision.
(h) Suspension or revocation of a license or certification, similar to one issued under this subdivision, in another jurisdiction and which has not been reinstated.
(i) Providing false testimony before the commissioner.
(j) Knowingly making or signing any false statement, certificate, or affidavit in connection with the practice of meat inspection.
III. The commissioner may take disciplinary action in any one or more of the following ways:
(a) By reprimand.
(b) By suspension, limitation, or restriction of a certificate to practice meat inspection for a period of up to 5 years.
(c) By revocation of a certification.
(d) By requiring the person to participate in a program of continuing education in the area or areas in which he or she has been found deficient.
(e) By requiring the certificate holder to practice under supervision for a period of time specified by the commissioner under rules adopted pursuant to RSA 541-A.
(f) By assessing administrative fines in amounts established by the commissioner which shall not exceed $2,000 per offense or, in the case of continuing offenses, $250 for each day the violation continues.

Source. 2011, 130:3, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:15

    427:15 Bribery; Penalties. –
I. Any person, firm, or corporation, or any agent or employee of any person, firm, or corporation, who shall give, pay, or offer, directly or indirectly, to any inspector, deputy inspector, chief inspector, or any other officer or employee of this state authorized to perform any of the duties prescribed by this subdivision, or by the rules of the commissioner, any money or other thing of value, with intent to influence said inspector, deputy inspector, chief inspector, or other officer or employee of this state in the discharge of any duty herein provided for shall be guilty of a felony.
II. Any person convicted of a violation of paragraph I shall be guilty of a class B felony if a natural person, or guilty of a felony if any other person.
III. Any inspector, deputy inspector, chief inspector, or other officer or employee of this state authorized to perform any of the duties prescribed by this subdivision who shall accept any money, gift, or other thing of value from any person, firm, or corporation, or officers, agents, or employees thereof, given with intent to influence his official action, or who shall receive or accept from any person, firm, or corporation engaged in intrastate commerce any gift, money, or thing of value given with any purpose or intent whatsoever, shall be guilty of a felony.
IV. Said official shall, upon conviction of a violation of paragraph III, be summarily discharged from office and shall be guilty of a class B felony.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985.

Section 427:16

    427:16 Repealed by 2017, 145:17, VIII, eff. Aug. 15, 2017. –

Section 427:17

    427:17 Repealed by 2011, 130:11, II, eff. Aug. 5, 2011. –

Section 427:18

    427:18 Denatured or Humanly Inedible Meat. –
I. Inspection shall not be provided under RSA 427:1-16 at any establishment for the slaughter of livestock or the preparation of any carcasses or parts or products of such animals which are not intended for use as human food.
II. Such articles shall, however, prior to their offer for sale or transportation in commerce unless naturally inedible by humans, be denatured or otherwise identified, as prescribed by rules of the commissioner, deter their use for human food.
III. No person, firm, or corporation shall buy, sell, transport, or offer for sale or transportation, or receive for transportation, in commerce any carcasses, parts thereof, meat or meat food products of any such animals which are not intended for use as human food unless they are denatured or otherwise identified as required by the rules of the commissioner or are naturally inedible by humans.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:5, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:19

    427:19 Records. –
I. The following records shall be made available for review by an authorized designee of the commissioner: the numbers and kinds of livestock slaughtered; quantities and types of products prepared; names and addresses of the owners of the livestock; bills of sale, invoices, bills of lading, receiving and shipping papers which all include the following: description of livestock or article, net weight of livestock or article, name and address of buyer and seller of livestock or article, name and address of consigner or recipient if other than the buyer, method of shipment, date of shipment, name and address of carrier; shipper's certificates required by other statutes and rules; and record of seal numbers of inedible products.
II. The following classes of persons, firms, and corporations shall permit access to the records upon presentation of official credentials during ordinary business hours.
(a) Any persons, firms, or corporations that engage, for commerce in the business of slaughtering and livestock or preparing, freezing, packaging, or labeling any carcasses, or parts or products of carcasses, of any such animals;
(b) Any persons, firms, or corporations, that engage in the business of buying or selling as meat brokers, wholesalers, or otherwise, or transporting, in commerce or storing in or for such commerce, any carcasses, or parts or products of carcasses, of any such animals;
(c) Any persons, firms, or corporations that engage in business, in or for commerce as renderers, or engage in the business of buying, selling, or transporting, in such commerce, any dead, dying, disabled, or diseased livestock, or parts of the carcasses of any such animals that died otherwise than by slaughter.
III. All persons, firms, and corporations subject to such requirements shall at all reasonable times, upon notice by a duly authorized representative of the commissioner, afford such representative and any duly authorized representative of the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States accompanied by such representative of the commissioner access to their places of business and opportunity to examine the facilities, inventory, and records thereof, to copy all such records, and to take reasonable samples of their inventory upon payment of the fair market value for such samples. Records shall be kept at the place of business unless there are multiple facilities owned by a single entity, then records may be kept at headquarters.
IV. Records shall be retained for 2 years after December 31 of the year in which the transaction took place and further periods as commissioner may require for investigation or litigation under this subdivision.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:5, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:20

    427:20 Registration. –
I. No person, firm, or corporation shall engage in business, in or for commerce, as an establishment, unless, when required by rules of the commissioner, he or she has registered with the commissioner his or her name, and the address of each place of business at which, and all trade names under which, he or she conducts such business.
II. The commissioner shall issue certificates of registration and registration renewals to all registered establishments that fulfill all registration requirements including payment of the fee. Such certificate shall be displayed in a conspicuous place at the principal place of business of such establishment.
III. All certificates of registration issued by the commissioner shall take effect on July 1 and expire on June 30 of the following year. All registration fees collected shall be deposited in the general fund of the state.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:5, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:21

    427:21 Dead or Diseased Animals. – No person, firm, or corporation engaged in the business of buying, selling, or transporting in intrastate commerce, dead, dying, disabled, or diseased animals, or any parts of the carcasses of any animals that died otherwise than by slaughter, shall buy, sell, transport, offer for sale or transportation, or receive for transportation in such commerce, any dead, dying, disabled, or diseased animals capable of use as human food, or parts of the carcasses of any such animals that died otherwise than by slaughter, unless such transaction or transportation is made in accordance with such rules as the commissioner may adopt under RSA 541-A to assure that such animals, or the unwholesome parts or products thereof, will be prevented from being used for human food purposes.

Source. 1985, 72:1. eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:5, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:22

    427:22 Repealed by 2011, 130:11, III, eff. Aug. 5, 2011. –

Section 427:23

    427:23 Revocation or Suspension of Inspection Service. –
I. The commissioner may for a period of time or indefinitely, as he or she deems necessary to effectuate the purposes of this subdivision, refuse to register, revoke, or suspend a registration of an establishment when he or she determines that such applicant or registrant is unfit to engage in any business requiring inspection under RSA 427:2-16 because the applicant or registrant, or anyone responsibly connected with the applicant or registrant, has been convicted in any federal or state court of:
(a) Any felony, or
(b) More than one violation of any law, other than a felony, based upon the acquiring, handling, or distributing of unwholesome, mislabeled, or deceptively packaged food or upon fraud in connection with transactions in food.
II. For the purpose of this section, a person shall be deemed to be responsibly connected with the business if he or she is a partner, officer, director, holder, or owner of 10 percent or more of its voting stock or employee in a managerial or executive capacity.
III. The determination and order of the commissioner with respect to responsible business connections under this section shall be final and conclusive, unless the affected applicant for or recipient of inspection service files application for judicial review within 30 days after the effective date of such order in the appropriate court as provided in RSA 427:26. Judicial review of any such order shall be upon the record upon which the determination and order are based.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:6, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:24

    427:24 Retention of Adulterated or Misbranded Meat. –
Whenever any carcass, part of a carcass, meat or meat food product of livestock or any product exempted from the definition of a meat food product or any dead, dying, disabled, or deceased livestock, are found by any authorized representative of the commissioner upon any premises where it is held for purposes of, or during or after, distribution in intrastate commerce, and there is reason to believe that any such article is adulterated or misbranded and is capable of use as human food, or that it has not been inspected, or that such article or animal has been, or is intended to be, distributed in violation of this subdivision:
I. It may be retained by such representative for a period not to exceed 20 days, pending action under RSA 427:25 or notification of any federal authorities having jurisdiction over such article or animal, and shall not be moved by any person, firm, or corporation from the place at which it is located when so detained, until released by such representative.
II. All official marks may be required by such representative to be removed from such article or animal before it is released unless it appears to the satisfaction of the commissioner that the article or animal is eligible to retain such marks.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:6, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:25

    427:25 Condemnation; Seizure. –
I. Any carcass, part of a carcass, meat or meat food product of livestock or any dead, dying, disabled, or diseased livestock, that are being transported in intrastate commerce, or are held for sale in this state after such transportation, shall be liable to be proceeded against and seized and condemned, at any time, on a libel of information in any proper court as provided in RSA 427:26 within the jurisdiction in which the article or animal is found, if:
(a) It is or has been prepared, sold, transported, or otherwise distributed or offered or received for distribution in violation of this subdivision;
(b) It is capable of use as human food and is adulterated or misbranded; or
(c) It is, in any other way, in violation of this subdivision.
II. If the article or animal is condemned, it shall, after entry of the decree, be disposed of by destruction or sale as the court may direct. If sold, the proceeds, less the court costs and fees, and storage and other proper expenses, shall be paid into the treasury of this state, but the article or animal shall not be sold contrary to the provisions of this subdivision, or the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; provided that:
(a) Upon the execution and delivery of a good and sufficient bond conditioned that the article or animal shall not be sold or otherwise disposed of contrary to the provisions of this subdivision or the laws of the United States the court may direct that such article or animal be delivered to the owner thereof subject to such supervision by authorized representatives of the commissioner as is necessary to insure compliance with the applicable laws.
(b) When a decree of condemnation is entered against the article or animal and it is released under bond, or destroyed, court costs and fees, and storage and other proper expenses shall be awarded against the person, if any, intervening as claimant of the article or animal.
(c) The proceedings in such libel cases shall conform, as nearly as may be, to the proceedings in admiralty, except that either party may demand trial by jury of any issue of fact joined in any case, and all such proceedings shall be at the suit of and in the name of this state.
III. The provisions of this section shall in no way derogate from authority for condemnation or seizure conferred by other provisions of this subdivision or other laws.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:6, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:26

    427:26 Jurisdiction of Court. – The superior court is vested with jurisdiction specifically to enforce and to prevent and restrain violations of this subdivision, and shall have jurisdiction in all other kinds of cases arising under this subdivision, except as provided in RSA 427:7, V.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:6, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:27

    427:27 Interference With Inspection. –
I. Any person who forcibly assaults, resists, opposes, impedes, intimidates, or interferes with any person while engaged in or on account of the performance of his or her official duties under this subdivision shall be guilty of a class B felony.
II. Whoever, in the commission of any of the acts enumerated in paragraph I, uses a deadly or dangerous weapon, shall be guilty of a class A felony.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:6, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:28

    427:28 General Penalty; Warning. –
I. Any person, firm, or corporation who violates any provision of this subdivision for which no other criminal penalty is provided shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person, or guilty of a felony if any other person.
II. If such violation involves intent to defraud, or any distribution or attempted distribution of an article that is adulterated, except as defined in RSA 427:2, VII(h), such person, firm, or corporation shall be guilty of a class B felony if a natural person, or guilty of a felony if any other person.
III. No person, firm, or corporation shall be subject to penalties under this section for receiving for transportation any article or animal in violation of this subdivision if such receipt was made in good faith, unless such person, firm, or corporation refuses to furnish on request of a representative of the commissioner the name and address of the person from whom he or she received such article or animal, and copies of all documents, if there are any, pertaining to the delivery of the article or animal to him or her.
IV. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed as requiring the commissioner to report for prosecution, or for the institution of libel or injunction proceedings, minor violations of this subdivision whenever he or she believes that the public interest will be adequately served by a suitable written notice of warning.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:6, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:29

    427:29 Powers of Commissioner. –
I. The commissioner or designee shall also have power:
(a) To gather and compile information concerning, and to investigate from time to time, the organization, business, conduct, practices, and management of any person, firm, or corporation engaged in commerce, and the relation thereof to other persons, firms, and corporations.
(b) To require, by general or special orders, persons, firms, and corporations engaged in intrastate commerce, or any class of them, or any of them to file with the commissioner, in such form as he or she may prescribe, annual or special, or both annual and special, reports or answers in writing to specific questions, furnishing to said commissioner such information as he or she may require as to the organization, business, conduct, practices, management, and relation to other persons, firms, and corporations, of the person, firm, or corporation filing such reports or answers in writing. Such reports and answers shall be made under oath, or otherwise, as the commissioner may prescribe, and shall be filed with the commissioner within such reasonable period as the commissioner may prescribe, unless additional time be granted in any case by him or her.
II. For the purpose of this subdivision, the commissioner:
(a) Shall at all reasonable times have access to, for the purpose of examination, any documentary evidence of any person, firm, or corporation being investigated or proceeded against and the right to copy such evidence. He or she may require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of all documentary evidence of any person, firm, or corporation relating to any matter under investigation.
(b) May sign subpoenas and may administer oaths and affirmations, examine witnesses, and receive evidence.
III. Such attendance of witnesses, and the production of such documentary evidence, may be required at any designated place of hearing. In case of disobedience to a subpoena, the commissioner may invoke the aid of any court designated in RSA 427:26 in requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence.
IV. Any of the courts designated in RSA 427:26 within the jurisdiction in which such inquiry is carried on may, in case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpoena issued to any person, firm, or corporation, issue an order requiring such person, firm, or corporation to appear before the commissioner or to produce documentary evidence if so ordered, or to give evidence touching the matter in question; and any failure to obey such order of the court may be punished by such court as contempt thereof.
V. Upon the application of the attorney general of this state at the request of the commissioner, the superior court shall have jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus commanding any person, firm, or corporation to comply with the provisions of this subdivision or any order of the commissioner made in pursuance thereof.
VI. The commissioner may order testimony to be taken by deposition in any proceeding or investigation pending under this subdivision at any stage of such proceeding or investigation:
(a) Such depositions may be taken before any person designated by the commissioner and having power to administer oaths.
(b) Such testimony shall be reduced to writing by the person taking the deposition, or under his or her direction, and shall then be subscribed by the deponent.
(c) Any person may be compelled to appear and depose and to produce documentary evidence in the same manner as witnesses may be compelled to appear and testify and produce documentary evidence before the commissioner as provided in this section.
VII. Witnesses summoned before the commissioner shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of this state under RSA 592-A:12, and witnesses whose depositions are taken and the persons taking the same shall severally be entitled to the same fees as are paid for like services in such courts under RSA 516:13.
VIII. No person, firm, or corporation shall be excused from attending and testifying or from producing books, papers, schedules of charges, contracts, agreements, or other documentary evidence before the commissioner or in obedience to the subpoena of the commissioner whether such subpoena is signed or issued by him or her or his or her delegate, or in any cause or proceeding, criminal or otherwise, based upon or growing out of any alleged violation of this subdivision, or of any amendments thereto, on the ground or for the reason that the testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, required of him, her, or it may tend to incriminate him, her, or it or subject him, her, or it to a penalty of forfeiture, but no person shall be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he or she is compelled, after having claimed his or her privilege against self-incrimination, to testify or produce evidence, documentary or otherwise, except that any person so testifying shall not be exempt from prosecution and punishment for perjury committed in so testifying.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:6, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:30

    427:30 Refusal to Answer; False Statements. –
I. Any person, firm, or corporation that shall neglect or refuse:
(a) To attend and testify or to answer any lawful inquiry, or
(b) To produce documentary evidence, if in his, her, or its power to do so, in obedience to the subpoena or lawful requirement of the commissioner shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person, or guilty of a felony if any other person.
II. Any person, firm, or corporation shall be guilty of a class B felony that shall willfully:
(a) Make or cause to be made any false entry or statement of fact in any report required to be made under this subdivision;
(b) Make or cause to be made any false entry in any account, record, or memorandum kept by any person, firm, or corporation subject to this subdivision;
(c) Neglect or fail to make, or to cause to be made, full, true and correct entries in such accounts, records, or memoranda of all facts and transactions appertaining to the business of such person, firm, or corporation;
(d) Remove out of the jurisdiction of this state;
(e) Mutilate, alter, or by any other means falsify any documentary evidence of any such person, firm, or corporation; or
(f) Refuse to submit to the commissioner or to any of his or her authorized agents, for the purpose of inspection and taking copies, any documentary evidence of any such person, firm, or corporation in his or her possession or within his or her control.
III. If any person, firm, or corporation required by this subdivision to file any annual or special report shall fail so to do within the time fixed by the commissioner for filing the same, and such failure shall continue for 30 days after notice of such default, such person, firm, or corporation shall forfeit to this state the sum of $100 for each and every day of the continuance of such failure, which forfeiture shall be payable to the treasury of this state, and shall be recoverable in a civil suit in the name of the state brought in the superior court for the county where the person, firm, or corporation has his, her, or its principal office or in the superior court for the county in which he, she, or it shall do business.
IV. It shall be the duty of the various county attorneys, under the direction of the attorney general of this state, to prosecute for the recovery of such forfeitures. The costs and expenses of such prosecution shall be paid out of the appropriation for the expenses of the courts of this state.
V. Any officer or employee of this state or meat inspector certified under this act who shall make public any information obtained by the commissioner without his or her authority, unless directed by a court, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:6, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:31

    427:31 Limited Coverage of Subdivision. – The requirements of this subdivision shall apply to persons, firms, corporation establishments, animals, and articles regulated under the Federal Meat Inspection Act only to the extent provided for in section 408 of said federal act.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2011, 130:6, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:32

    427:32 Costs of Inspection; Limitation. – In addition to the cost of the inspection required under this subdivision, the establishment shall pay a fee to the department based on the number and species of animals slaughtered. Such fee shall be determined by the commissioner in rules adopted pursuant to RSA 541-A and shall support the administrative costs of certifying meat inspectors and conducting audits of establishments. All employees of the department who are required to make inspections at any time after working 40 hours per week or after working 8 hours per day shall be paid at the rate of time and a half. Labor performed on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays shall also be compensated at the rate of time and a half. Costs collected by the commissioner for such premium pay work shall be available without fiscal year limitation to carry out the purposes of this section.

Source. 1985, 72:1. 1995, 130:5, eff. July 23, 1995. 2003, 202:1, eff. July 1, 2003. 2011, 130:6, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:32-a

    427:32-a Repealed by 2021, 19:7, II, eff. July 5, 2021. –

Section 427:32-b

    427:32-b Repealed by 2021, 19:7, III, eff. July 5, 2021. –

Section 427:32-c

    427:32-c Liability. – The department and any person who contracts with the department who is in compliance with this subdivision, shall be held harmless from either civil or criminal liability for any decisions made in connection with this subdivision, unless found guilty of gross negligence.

Source. 2011, 130:7, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Section 427:32-d

    427:32-d Fees. –
I. The commissioner shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A which establish fees for the processing of the following meat producing animals:
(a) No more than $50 per cow processed.
(b) No more than $30 per sheep, goat, pig, deer or elk processed.
(c) No more than $10 per turkey or rabbit.
(d) No more than $5 per chicken or other bird, not including turkeys.
II. The fees established by the commissioner for the processing of meat producing animals as well as the fees, fines, and administrative charges established by the commissioner under RSA 427:14 shall be sufficient to produce estimated revenues equal to 125 percent of the direct operating expenses of the meat inspection program for the previous fiscal year. The requirements of this paragraph shall apply one year after the first establishment is opened and operating within the state meat inspection program as determined by the state veterinarian.

Source. 2011, 130:7, eff. Aug. 5, 2011.

Humane Slaughter

Section 427:33

    427:33 Terms Defined. –
As used in this subdivision the following words and phrases shall be construed as follows:
I. The term "slaughterer" means any person, partnership, corporation or association regularly engaged in the slaughtering of livestock;
II. The term "livestock" shall include but not be limited to cattle, steer, oxen, horses, swine, sheep, goats, as well as domesticated strains of buffalo, bison, llamas, alpacas, emus, ostriches, yaks, elk (Cervus canadensis), fallow deer (Dama dama), red deer (Cervus elephus), reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), poultry, rabbits, and other species of animals susceptible of use in the production of meat and meat products;
III. The term "humane method" means:
(a) Any method of slaughtering livestock which normally causes animals to be rendered insensible to pain by a single blow or shot of a mechanical instrument or by electrical, chemical or other means that is rapid and effective, before being shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut; and
(b) The method of slaughtering in accordance with the ritual requirements of any religious faith that prescribes a method of slaughter whereby the animal suffers loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by the simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument, provided that the method used in bringing the animal into position for slaughter causes no injury or pain which can be avoided without interfering with the requirements of ritualistic slaughter or without imposing unreasonable economic hardship.
IV. The term "holding pen" means enclosures or yards where animals are held or handled before slaughtering.

Source. 1985, 72:1. 1998, 310:1, eff. Aug. 25, 1998. 2014, 97:4, eff. Aug. 10, 2014. 2017, 145:4, eff. Aug. 15, 2017.

Section 427:34

    427:34 Prohibition. – On and after June 30, 1960, no slaughterer may slaughter livestock except by a humane method. No person may handle livestock in connection with slaughter, or drive or transport them to holding pens or to place of slaughter except with a minimum of excitement and discomfort. Holding pens and transportation vehicles must be free from hazards which could cause suffering or pain.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985.

Section 427:35

    427:35 Prohibition. – No person who has taken possession of a horse, ostensibly for slaughter, shall use or deliver possession of said animal for any other purpose.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985.

Section 427:36

    427:36 Penalty. – Any slaughterer who violates this subdivision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985.

Section 427:37

    427:37 Administration and Enforcement. – The commissioner of agriculture, markets, and food may administer the provisions of this subdivision, adopt such rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, as may be necessary to carry this subdivision into effect, and approve all methods of slaughter used under the terms of this subdivision. He or she may, by administrative order, allow any person a single temporary exemption from compliance with any provision of this subdivision for such period of time as he or she shall determine reasonable, not to exceed one year. The commissioner of agriculture, markets, and food shall cause to be prosecuted any slaughterer who fails to comply with the provisions of this subdivision. Any agent authorized by the commissioner, upon being designated, in writing, for that purpose by the sheriff of any county in this state, may, within such county, at any time inspect the premises and operations of any slaughterer and, if he or she deems it advisable, request an investigation and appropriate action by the commissioner of agriculture, markets, and food.

Source. 1985, 72:1. 1995, 130:5, eff. July 23, 1995. 2010, 302:1, eff. July 13, 2010.

Livestock Auction

Section 427:38

    427:38 Definitions. –
As used in this subdivision:
I. "Commissioner" shall mean the commissioner of agriculture, markets, and food.
II. "Livestock dealer" shall mean any person, partnership, unincorporated association, or corporation engaged in the business of buying, selling or transporting livestock, excluding any common carrier, or operating a livestock auction or sales ring, including any person acting as an agent or buyer for any other person, partnership, unincorporated association or corporation.
III. "Livestock" shall include beef and dairy cattle, steer, oxen, goats, sheep, swine, horses, mules, or other equidae, as well as domesticated strains of buffalo, bison, llamas, alpacas, emus, ostriches, poultry, rabbits, yaks, elk (Cervus canadensis), fallow deer (Dama dama), red deer (Cervus elephus), and reindeer (Rangifer tarandus).

Source. 1985, 72:1. 1995, 130:5. 1998, 310:2, eff. Aug. 25, 1998. 2014, 97:1, eff. Aug. 10, 2014. 2017, 145:5, eff. Aug. 15, 2017.

Section 427:39

    427:39 License. – No livestock dealer shall operate such a business without first obtaining a license from the commissioner. Before being issued a license, the livestock dealer shall file with the commissioner an application for such license, giving such information as the commissioner shall require. Said application shall be accompanied by the prescribed fee. All licenses shall expire on April 30 of each year. No licenses shall be transferable. A farmer shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter when engaged in noncommercial transportation of livestock.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2017, 145:6, eff. Aug. 15, 2017.

Section 427:40

    427:40 Permits for Trucks. – A permit shall be issued for each truck or other conveyance used by said licensee for the transportation of livestock and so described on the application for a license. The permit shall be carried in each vehicle so described. The fee for each permit shall be as prescribed by the commissioner.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985.

Section 427:41

    427:41 Requirements. –
A livestock dealer licensed under this subdivision shall:
I. Maintain in a clean and sanitary condition all premises, buildings and conveyances used in the business of dealing in livestock or operating a livestock auction or sales ring.
II. Submit premises, buildings and conveyances to inspection, and livestock to inspection and test, at any such times as the commissioner may deem necessary and advisable.
III. Allow no livestock on the livestock dealer's premises from herds or premises quarantined by the commissioner of agriculture, markets, and food or his agent, except those accompanied by special permit issued by the commissioner of agriculture, markets, and food or his agent.
IV. Maintain, subject to inspection by the commissioner or his agent, a proper record in which all livestock purchased, repossessed, sold or loaned are to be listed, giving breed, date purchased, repossessed, sold or loaned, and from whom obtained and to whom delivered. Such record shall also show the ear tag number of each animal. Registered purebred cattle which do not bear ear tags shall be recorded by giving official tattoo markings, description and such other information as is necessary to identify such cattle;
V. Keep records of all animals destined for market or slaughter indicating identification, farm or origin and destination, and shall submit said records to the commissioner at no more than 30-day intervals; and
VI. Abide by such other reasonable rules as the commissioner may adopt to prevent the spread of disease. The commissioner shall send a copy of such rules to all livestock dealers licensed under the provisions of this subdivision.
VII. A person transporting livestock shall have in his or her possession a bill of sale or other memorandum signed by the vendor, the date of sale or other transaction involving the transfer of possession, the breed, age, approximate weight, and number of animals being transported.

Source. 1985, 72:1. 1995, 130:5, eff. July 23, 1995. 2017, 145:7, eff. Aug. 15, 2017.

Section 427:42

    427:42 Refusal to Issue; Revocation of License. –
The commissioner, after notice to the licensee and opportunity for hearing, as set forth in the rules adopted under RSA 427:44, may deny an application or revoke a license for any of the following reasons:
I. That the applicant or licensee has violated the statutes of the state of New Hampshire or of the United States or any rule adopted by the commissioner pursuant to RSA 427:38-47;
II. That he has made false or misleading statements in his application for a license or that he has made false or misleading statements as to the health or physical condition of animals regarding official tests;
III. That he has knowingly sold, for dairy or breeding purposes, livestock affected with a communicable disease;
IV. That he has ceased to operate the business for which the license was issued; or
V. That he has had his license to deal in livestock, issued in another jurisdiction, revoked or suspended by that jurisdiction as a result of engaging in conduct prohibited by RSA 427:42, II or III, during the preceding 5 years.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985.

Section 427:43

    427:43 Penalty. –
I. Any livestock dealer who buys or sells livestock in this state or operates a livestock auction or sales ring without having a license to do so as required by this subdivision shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
II. In addition to the penalty under paragraph I, any livestock dealer who violates any of the provisions of this subdivision or rule adopted under it may be subject to an administrative fine levied by the commissioner, not to exceed $1,000 for each violation.

Source. 1985, 72:1. 1989, 11:1, eff. April 4, 1989.

Section 427:44

    427:44 Rulemaking Authority. –
The commissioner may adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to:
I. The information required from an applicant for a license as a livestock dealer;
II. The prescribed fee for a livestock dealer's license;
III. The prescribed fee for a permit issued for each truck or conveyance used by a licensed livestock dealer or for a shipping certificate or both;
IV. The prevention of the spread of any disease prevalent among livestock;
V. Notice and hearing on the refusal to issue or the revocation of a license; and
VI. Any other matter the commissioner may deem necessary to carry out the provisions of this subdivision.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985.

Section 427:45

    427:45 Exceptions. – The provisions of this subdivision relative to requiring a license shall not apply to a farmer who does not go from place to place buying or selling livestock, nor to a farmer holding an auction sale in the regular operation of his farm business.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985.

Section 427:46

    427:46 Disposition of Fees. – All fees collected under the provisions of this subdivision shall be deposited with the state treasurer.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985.

Section 427:47

    427:47 Repealed by 2017, 145:17, I, eff. Aug. 15, 2017. –

Shipment of Livestock

Section 427:48

    427:48 Separation of Stock. – Livestock shall not be shipped or transported within this state in mixed loads unless the different kinds of stock shall be separated, each kind from the other, by strong partitions; provided that milch cows may be shipped with not more than 3 calves for one cow, and sheep may be shipped with calves.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985. 2017, 145:8, eff. Aug. 15, 2017.

Section 427:49

    427:49 Upper Decks. – Livestock shall not be transported in upper decks unless such decks are constructed with tight floors of adequate strength.

Source. 1985, 72:1, eff. July 1, 1985.

Section 427:50

    427:50 Repealed by 2017, 145:17, II, eff. Aug. 15, 2017. –

Section 427:51

    427:51 Diseased Animals. –
Cattle which have reacted to the tuberculin or agglutination test for brucellosis or any animal or animals infected with a contagious or infectious disease or from a herd which has reacted to any test for a reportable disease shall not be shipped, transported, received for transportation, or otherwise moved for immediate slaughter, unless the following conditions and restrictions are complied with:
I. The cattle shall be shipped, transported or moved to an establishment or a public stockyard where state or federal inspection is maintained and shall there be slaughtered under such inspection.
II. The cattle shall be accompanied to destination by a certificate issued by the commissioner of agriculture, markets, and food and by a VS Form 1-27 issued by the USDA.
III. Transportation companies shall plainly write or stamp upon the face of waybills, conductors' manifests and memoranda pertaining to such shipment the words, "Diseased Animals."
IV. All trucks, vehicles or equipment used for the transportation of diseased animals shall be properly cleaned after each shipment.

Source. 1985, 72:1. 1995, 130:5, eff. July 23, 1995. 2017, 145:9, eff. Aug. 15, 2017.

Section 427:52

    427:52 Penalty. –
I. Whoever knowingly violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person, or guilty of a felony if any other person.
II. In addition to the penalty under paragraph I, whoever violates any of the provisions of this chapter or rule adopted under such provisions may be subject to an administrative fine levied by the commissioner, not to exceed $1,000 for each violation.

Source. 1985, 72:1. 1989, 11:2, eff. April 4, 1989. 2017, 145:10, eff. Aug. 15, 2017.

Section 427:53

    427:53 Enforcement. – The commissioner of agriculture, markets, and food, either by himself or his agents, shall have authority to enforce the provisions of this subdivision, and for that purpose may, without expense to the state, designate as his agent any officer or agent of the society for the prevention of cruelty to animals.

Source. 1985, 72:1. 1995, 130:5, eff. July 23, 1995.

Section 427:54

    427:54 Repealed by 2017, 145:17, III, eff. Aug. 15, 2017. –

Section 427:55

    427:55 Repealed by 2017, 145:17, IV, eff. Aug. 15, 2017. –

Section 427:56

    427:56 Repealed by 2017, 145:17, V, eff. Aug. 15, 2017. –

Section 427:57

    427:57 Repealed by 2017, 145:17, VI, eff. Aug. 15, 2017. –

Section 427:58

    427:58 Repealed by 2017, 145:17, VII, eff. Aug. 15, 2017. –

Section 427:59

    427:59 Penalty. –
I. Any person violating the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor if a natural person, or guilty of a felony if any other person.
II. In addition to the penalty under paragraph I, any person who violates the provisions of this chapter may be subject to an administrative fine levied by the commissioner, not to exceed $1,000 for each violation.

Source. 1985, 72:1. 1989, 11:3, eff. April 4, 1989. 2017, 145:11, eff. Aug. 15, 2017.