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Maryland

West's Annotated Code of Maryland. Agriculture. Title 4. Regulation of Livestock, Poultry Products, and Eggs. Subtitle 1. Maryland Wholesome Meat Act.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: MD Code, Agriculture, 4-101 - 131

Citation: MD Code, Agriculture, 4-101 - 131


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2014

Summary:   This section comprises Maryland's "Wholesome Meat Act."  Included are laws related to licensing of slaughtering establishments, labeling of meat, and the state's humane slaughter provisions.  The humane slaughter provisions state that it is the policy of the State to prevent inhumane methods of livestock slaughter at an official establishment.  Humane methods include those by which livestock are rendered insensible to pain, by a single blow or gunshot, or by an electrical, chemical, or other rapid and effective means, before being shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut.  Ritual slaughter defined by statute is also considered humane if done in compliance with the act.  Use of a manually operated hammer, sledge, or poleax during a slaughtering operation is considered inhumane.  Note that "livestock" here explicitly excludes poultry or other fowl.  A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $100 for each violation.


Statute in Full:

§ 4-101. Definitions

§ 4-102. Policy

§ 4-103. Application of subtitle

§ 4-104. Intergovernment cooperation

§ 4-105. Repealed by Acts 1992, c. 29, eff. July 1, 1992

§ 4-106. Enforcement

§ 4-107. Rules, regulations and reports

§ 4-108. Inspections

§ 4-109. Exemptions from subtitle

§ 4-110. Costs of inspection

§ 4-111. Premises, facilities, equipment and operation

§ 4-112. Labels and marks

§ 4-113. Carcass; entry into official establishment

§ 4-114. Equine carcasses

§ 4-115. False or misleading packaging

§ 4-116. Products not supervised by inspector

§ 4-117. Denying inspection privileges

§ 4-118. Annual license and fee

§ 4-119. Required registration and fee

§ 4-120. Records

§ 4-121. Rules and regulations

§ 4-122. Dead, disabled or diseased livestock

§ 4-123. Prohibited acts

§ 4-123.1. Inhumane slaughter of livestock

§ 4-124. Detention

§ 4-125. Seizure and condemnation

§ 4-126. Oaths, subpoenas and testimony

§ 4-127. Principal also responsible

§ 4-128. Reports to states attorney

§ 4-129. Equitable remedies

§ 4-130. Violations of § 4-123

§ 4-131. Short title

 

 

§ 4-101. Definitions

(a) In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.

(b) Any carcass, part of any carcass, or meat food product is "adulterated" if:

(1) It bears or contains any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render it injurious to health. However, if the substance is not an added substance, the article shall not be considered adulterated under this clause if the quantity of the substance in or on the article ordinarily does not render it injurious to health;

(2) Any substance is administered to it so that it bears or contains any added poisonous or deleterious substance which may make the article unfit for human

food and which is prohibited in the quantity present under the Federal Meat Inspection Act; [FN1]

(3) It wholly or partially consists of any filthy, putrid, or decomposed substance or is for any other reason unsound, unhealthful, unwholesome, or otherwise unfit for human food;

(4) It has been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions that may have contaminated it with filth, or that may have rendered it injurious to health;

(5) It is wholly or partially the product of an animal which has died other than by slaughter;

(6) Its container is composed, wholly or partially, of any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render the contents injurious to health;

(7) It intentionally has been subjected to radiation, unless the use of radiation was permissible under the Federal Meat Inspection Act and approved under this subtitle;

(8) Any valuable constituent has been omitted or abstracted wholly or partially from it; if any substance has been substituted, wholly or partially, for it; if damage or inferiority has been concealed in any manner; or if any substance has been added to it or mixed or packed with it 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

(9) It is margarine containing animal fat and any of the raw material used in the margarine consists wholly or partially of any filthy, putrid, or decomposed substance.

(c) "Animal food manufacturer" means any person engaged in the business of manufacturing or processing animal food derived wholly or partially from any carcass of livestock, or parts or products of it.

(d) "Capable of use as human food" applies to any livestock carcass, or part or product of it, that is not denatured, not naturally inedible by humans, or not identified as required by the departmental rules and regulations to deter its use as human food.

(e) "Carcass" means every part, including viscera, of any slaughtered livestock capable of use as human food.

(f) "Color additive" has the same meaning as under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, [FN2] approved June 25, 1938.

(g) "Federal Meat Inspection Act" means the act of Congress approved March 4, 1907 (34 Stat. 1260), as amended by the Wholesome Meat Act (81 Stat. 584).

(h) "Food additive" has the same meaning as under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, approved June 25, 1938.

(i) "Inspector" means a State employee or government employee authorized by the Secretary to inspect livestock or carcasses, parts of them, meat or meat food products.

(j) "Label" means a display of written, printed, or graphic matter on the immediate container, not including the package liner of any article.

(k) "Labeling" means every label and other written, printed, or graphic matter (1) upon any article or any of its containers or wrappers, or (2) accompanying the article.

(l) "Meat" means the edible part of the muscle of livestock which is skeletal or which is found in the tongue, diaphragm, heart, or esophagus, with or without the accompanying and overlying fat, and the portions of bone, skin, sinew, nerve, and blood vessels which normally accompany the muscle tissue and which are not separated from it in the process of dressing. It does not include the muscle found in the lips, snout, or ears.

(m) "Meat broker" means any person engaged in the business of buying or selling livestock carcasses, parts of them, or meat food products, on commission, or negotiating purchases or sales of these articles, other than for his own account or as an employee of another person.

(n) "Meat by-product" means any edible part other than meat which has been derived from livestock.

(o) "Meat food product" means any product capable of use as human food which is made wholly or partially from any meat or other portion of the carcass of any livestock. The term does not apply to a product (i) containing meat or other portions of the carcasses only in a relatively small proportion, or (ii) which historically has not been considered by consumers as a product of the meat food industry, and (iii) which is exempted from the definition of a meat food product by departmental rules and regulations.

(p) Any carcass, part of any carcass, or meat food product is "misbranded" if:

(1) Its labeling is false or misleading in any particular;

(2) It is offered for sale under the name of another food;

(3) It is an imitation of another food, unless its label bears, in type of uniform size and prominence, the word "imitation" and immediately after it, the name of the food imitated;

(4) Its container is made, formed, or filled so that it is misleading;

(5) It is in a package or other container that does not bear a label showing (i) the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor, and (ii) an accurate statement of the quantity of the contents in terms of weight, measure, or numerical count. Under clause (ii) of this paragraph (5), reasonable variations may be permitted, and exemptions for small packages may be established by departmental rules and regulations;

(6) Any word, statement, or other information, required by or under authority of this subtitle to appear on the label or other labeling, is not placed on it prominently and conspicuously, as compared with other words, statements, designs, or devices in the labeling and is not in terms that render it likely to be read and understood by the ordinary individual under customary conditions of purchase and use;

(7) It purports to be or is represented as a food for which a definition and standard of identity or composition has been prescribed by rule or regulation adopted under § 4-112, unless (i) it conforms to the definition and standard, (ii) its label bears the name of the food specified in the definition and standard, and (iii) its label bears the common names of optional ingredients, other than spices, flavoring, and coloring, present in the food as required by rule or regulation;

(8) It purports to be or is represented as a food for which a standard of fill of container is prescribed by rules and regulations adopted under § 4-112, and it falls below the standard of fill of container applicable to it, unless its label bears a statement that it falls below the standard, in the manner and form as the rules and regulations specify;

(9) It is not subject to the provisions of paragraph (7) of this subsection, unless its label bears (i) the common or usual name of the food, if any, and (ii) in case it is fabricated from two or more ingredients, the common or usual name of each ingredient. However, the Secretary may authorize spices, flavorings, and colorings to be designated as spices, flavorings, and colorings, without requiring the naming of each. In addition, the Secretary may establish exemptions by rules and regulations under this subtitle to the extent that compliance with the requirements of clause (ii) of this paragraph (9) is not feasible or results in deception or unfair competition;

(10) It purports to be or is represented for special dietary uses, unless its label bears information concerning its vitamin, mineral, and other dietary properties as the rule or regulation prescribes as necessary to inform fully purchasers as to its value for special dietary uses;

(11) It bears or contains any artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, or chemical preservative, unless it bears labeling stating that fact. However, the Secretary may establish exemptions by rules and regulations under this subtitle to the extent that compliance with the requirements of this paragraph (11) is not feasible; or

(12) It fails to bear, directly on it or on its containers, as rules and regulations prescribe, the inspection legend and other information, as required by departmental rules and regulations adopted under this subtitle.

(q) "Official certificate" means any certificate adopted by departmental rules and regulations for issuance by an inspector.

(r) "Official device" means any device prescribed by the Secretary for use in applying any official mark.

(s) "Official establishment" means any establishment engaged in slaughtering of livestock, or processing livestock carcasses, parts of them, meat, or meat food products capable of use as human food solely for intrastate commerce and inspected under this subtitle.

(t) "Official legend" means any symbol adopted by departmental rules and regulations indicating an article has passed inspection under this subtitle.

(u) "Official mark" means the official inspection legend or any other symbol adopted by the departmental rules and regulations to identify the status of any article under this subtitle.

(v) "Pesticide chemical" has the same meaning as under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, approved June 25, 1938.

(w) "Prepared" means slaughtered, canned, salted, rendered, boned, cut up, or otherwise manufactured or processed.

(x) "Raw agricultural commodity" has the same meaning as under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, approved June 25, 1938.

(y) "Renderer" means any person engaged in the business of rendering livestock carcasses, or parts or products of them, except rendering conducted under inspection or exemption under this subtitle.

[FN1] 21 U.S.C.A. § 601 et seq.

[FN2] 21 U.S.C.A. § 301 et seq.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1; Acts 1974, c. 177, § 1; Acts 1974, c. 523.


 

§ 4-102. Policy

(a) Meat, meat by-products, and meat food products are an important source of the supply of human food in the State and legislation assuring these food supplies are not adulterated or misbranded is in the public interest. Therefore, it is the policy of the State to provide, at certain establishments, for the inspection of slaughtered livestock, carcasses, parts of them, meat and meat food products prepared for human food and to impose other requirements to prevent the distribution in intrastate commerce of livestock carcasses, parts of them, meat and meat food products which are adulterated or misbranded and are capable of use as human food.

(b) The Secretary may accept from the United States Secretary of Agriculture (i) advisory assistance planning and otherwise developing the State program; and (ii) technical and financial and other aid for administration of the program. The Secretary may spend public funds of the State, appropriated for administration of this subtitle, to pay the share of the estimated total cost of the cooperative program as may be agreed upon by the Secretary and the United States Secretary of Agriculture. It is the intent of the General Assembly that, whenever possible, all State expenses incurred pursuant to the provisions of this subtitle shall be matched by the federal government on an equal or greater basis.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1; Acts 1974, c. 46.

 

§ 4-103. Application of subtitle

This subtitle does not apply to any act or transaction subject to exclusive regulation under the Federal Meat Inspection Act. [FN1] This subtitle does not affect game mammals or wild birds or the slaughtering or inspection of them.

[FN1] 21 U.S.C.A. § 601 et seq.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-104. Intergovernment cooperation

To carry out the provisions of this subtitle or the Federal Meat Inspection Act, [FN1] the Secretary may cooperate with the federal government, including acceptance of federal financial, training, and other assistance. The Secretary may cooperate with any other federal, State, or local unit having responsibilities with respect to matters relating to human or animal health.

[FN1] 21 U.S.C.A. § 601 et seq.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-105. Repealed by Acts 1992, c. 29, eff. July 1, 1992

 

§ 4-106. Enforcement

The Secretary may enforce the provisions of this subtitle through meat inspectors, agents, and other employees designated or appointed consistently with the provisions of this subtitle. Except as provided in § 4-104 of this subtitle or otherwise by law, all inspectors shall be employed in accordance with the provision of the State Personnel Management System.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1; Acts 1993, c. 22, § 1; Acts 1997, c. 743, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 1997.

 

§ 4-107. Rules, regulations and reports

In addition to rules and regulations specifically authorized by this subtitle, the Secretary may adopt rules and regulations, and require reports from persons subject to this subtitle to carry out the purposes and provisions of this subtitle.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-108. Inspections

(a) In each official establishment, the Secretary may perform the following acts:

(1) Antemortem inspection;

(2) Postmortem inspection; and

(3) Quarantine, segregation, or reinspection.

(b) Every livestock carcass, part of it, meat, or meat food product found by an inspector to be adulterated in any official establishment shall be retained for condemnation. If no appeal is taken from the determination of condemnation, the adulterated article shall be destroyed for human food purposes under the supervision of the inspector in the manner prescribed by the rules and regulations. However, any article which may be reprocessed so that it is not adulterated need not be condemned and destroyed if it is reprocessed under the supervision of an inspector and found to be not adulterated.

(c) If an appeal to the Secretary is taken from a determination of condemnation, the article shall be marked appropriately and segregated pending completion of an appeal inspection. If the Secretary determines that the appeal is frivolous, the appellant shall bear any cost of the appeal inspection. If the determination of condemnation is sustained, every article shall be destroyed for human food purposes in accordance with this section.

(d) Veterinary inspectors or inspectors supervised by veterinary inspectors shall conduct the inspections required by this section. For the purposes of this subsection, "veterinary inspector" means a veterinarian who has graduated from a college recognized by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-109. Exemptions from subtitle

(a) The provisions of this subtitle requiring inspection of the slaughter of livestock and the preparation of the carcass, part of it, meat, or meat food product at any establishment conducting these operations do not apply to the following:

(1) Slaughter by any person of livestock he raises, preparation by him and transportation in intrastate commerce of any carcass, part of it, or meat or meat food product of livestock, if used exclusively by the owner, his household, or any nonpaying guest or employee;

(2) Custom slaughter or custom processing by any person of cattle, sheep, swine, or goats delivered by the owner for slaughter or custom processing if used exclusively by the owner, his household, nonpaying guests, or employees, and the meat food product of livestock is plainly marked "not for sale";

(3) Any operation traditionally and usually conducted at a retail store and restaurant when conducted at the retail store, restaurant, or retail-type establishment for sale in normal retail quantities or for service of the articles to consumers at the establishment;

(4) Any individual or service or charitable organization that kills, dresses, and sells fresh beef, pork, or lamb within 24 hours on his or its property if a veterinary antemortem and postmortem inspection certificate is issued for each animal slaughtered; and

(5) Slaughter by any person of livestock or preparation of any livestock carcass, part of it, meat, or meat food product that is not intended for use as human food if any article not naturally inedible by humans is denatured or otherwise identified to deter its use as human food pursuant to the departmental rules and regulations.

(b) The slaughter of animals and preparation of articles referred to in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, shall be conducted under sanitary conditions the Secretary adopts by rule or regulation.

(c) The adulteration and misbranding provisions of this subtitle, other than the requirement of the inspection legend, apply to any article which is not required to be inspected under this section.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1; Acts 1974, c. 177, § 1; Acts 1974, c. 523; Acts 1980, c. 75; Acts 1986, c. 5, § 1.

 

§ 4-110. Costs of inspection

The State shall bear the cost of inspection rendered under this subtitle, except as provided in § 4-104. However, each establishment subject to this subtitle shall pay the cost of overtime and holiday inspection work at rates the Secretary determines. Sums received by the Secretary in reimbursement of sums paid out for premium pay work shall be available without fiscal year limitations to carry out the purposes of this subtitle.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-111. Premises, facilities, equipment and operation

Each official establishment shall have the premises, facilities, and equipment required by departmental rule or regulation. In addition, each official establishment shall be operated in accordance with sanitary practices required by the departmental rules and regulations.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-112. Labels and marks

(a) Every livestock carcass, part of it, or meat food product inspected at an official establishment and found to be not adulterated shall be labeled to comply with the requirements of § 4-101(p) and the departmental rules and regulations in distinctly legible form directly on the article or its container when it leaves the establishment.

(b) The Secretary may prescribe: (1) the styles and sizes of type to be used in marking and labeling any article subject to this subtitle; and (2) the definitions and standards of identity or composition and fill of container for any article subject to this subtitle.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-113. Carcass; entry into official establishment

(a) No livestock carcass, part of it, meat, or meat food product may be admitted into any official establishment unless it has been prepared only under inspection pursuant to this subtitle or the Federal Meat Inspection Act [FN1] or imported in compliance with the federal act.

(b) The Secretary by rule or regulation may prescribe the conditions under which any carcass, part of it, any meat food product, meat, wildlife, and any other material is allowed to enter any official establishment to assure that these articles enter inspected establishments pursuant to the provisions of this subtitle.

[FN1] 21 U.S.C.A. § 601 et seq.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-114. Equine carcasses

The Secretary, by rule or regulation, may require an equine or its carcass to be prepared in an establishment separate from an establishment where cattle, sheep, swine, or goats, their carcasses, parts of them, meat, or their meat food products are prepared.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-115. False or misleading packaging

(a) No person may sell, offer for sale, or donate in intrastate commerce any article, subject to this subtitle, under any false or misleading name, other marking, or labeling or in any container of a misleading form or size. In addition to any other provision of this subsection, established trade names approved by the Secretary are permitted.

(b) If the Secretary believes that any marking, labeling, or size, or form of any container, in use or proposed for use with respect to any article subject to this subtitle, is false or misleading in any particular, he may direct that the use be withheld unless the marking, labeling, or container is modified in a manner as may be prescribed so that it is not false or misleading. If the person using or proposing to use the marking, labeling, or container does not accept the determination of the Secretary, he may request a hearing before the Secretary. The Secretary may withhold use of the marking, labeling, or container pending hearing and final determination by the Secretary. The determination of the Secretary is conclusive unless, within 30 days after receipt of notice of the final determination, the person adversely affected appeals in accordance with the procedures of the Administrative Procedure Act. [FN1]

[FN1] State Government, § 10-101 et seq.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-116. Products not supervised by inspector

Any carcass, part of it, meat, or meat food product which is prepared, wholly or partially, in any official establishment, without supervision of an inspector as required by the Secretary, shall be handled or disposed of as the rules and regulations prescribe.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-117. Denying inspection privileges

(a) For the purposes of this section, a person is responsibly connected with a business if he is a partner, officer, director, holder or owner of at least 10 percent of its voting stock, or an employee in a managerial or executive capacity in the business.

(b) After an applicant for or recipient of inspection services is accorded an opportunity for a hearing, the Secretary may refuse or withdraw inspection services for any period of time for any establishment, if he determines that:

(1) The applicant or recipient is unfit to engage in any business requiring inspection because:

(i) The applicant or recipient, or in case the applicant or recipient is a partnership, any general partner, or in case the applicant or recipient is a corporation, any officer, director, holder, or owner of more than 10 percent of the voting stock, is or has been responsibly connected with any business or person who has committed any offense under this subtitle or has been convicted in any federal, State, or local court of any felony or of any violation of law designed to protect the public from unwholesome, adulterated, or misbranded food or from fraud, in connection with transactions in food; or

(ii) The applicant or recipient, or any person, conducting a business with which the applicant or recipient was responsibly connected, had inspection services refused or withdrawn for a period which has not expired; or

(2) The application for inspection contains a materially false or misleading statement made by the applicant or recipient, or its representative on its behalf, or any fact required by the application form has been concealed or withheld.

(c) After notice to the operator of the establishment, the Secretary may refuse or withdraw inspection services for any establishment for any failure of the operator to (1) maintain the establishment premises and facilities in a sanitary condition, (2) destroy any condemned carcass, part of it, or meat food product as required, or (3) conduct operations at the establishment in accordance with the requirements of this subtitle. After the cause for refusal or withdrawal is corrected, refusal or withdrawal shall terminate and inspection service shall be provided as soon as possible. The Secretary may stay any order of refusal or withdrawal of services pending determination of an appeal to the board of review.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1; Acts 1974, c. 864, § 1; Acts 1976, c. 451.

 

§ 4-118. Annual license and fee

Subject to the exemptions of this subtitle, no person may engage in the business of slaughtering any livestock, or preparing or labeling any livestock carcass, or part of it, for use as human or animal food, or transporting, buying, or selling any dead, dying, disabled, or diseased livestock without obtaining an annual license. The Secretary shall issue the license for an annual license fee of $25.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-119. Required registration and fee

(a) A person shall register his name, the address of each place of business, and all trade names under which he conducts business, when required by the Secretary, if he engages in any of the following businesses relating to livestock:

(1) Custom slaughterer, custom processor, meat broker, renderer, or animal food manufacturer;

(2) Wholesaler of any livestock carcass, or part or product of it;

(3) Public warehouseman storing any livestock carcass, or part or product of it;

(4) Buyer, seller, or transporter of any dead, dying, disabled, or diseased livestock or any part of any carcass of livestock that died otherwise than by slaughter.

(b) A person who is required to register under this section shall pay an annual registration fee of $25.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1; Acts 1980, c. 74, 76.

 

§ 4-120. Records

Every person subject to the requirements of this subtitle, whether or not required to be licensed, shall maintain records required by departmental rules and regulations. Each person, upon notification by the Secretary, shall afford the Secretary access to his place of business at any reasonable time; the opportunity to inspect the facilities, inventory, and records; and the opportunity to copy any record and take any reasonable sample of inventory upon payment of its fair market value. Any record required to be maintained by this section shall be maintained at least for the period of time the Secretary prescribes by rule or regulation.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-121. Rules and regulations

To assure that articles are not adulterated or misbranded when delivered to the consumer, the Secretary, by rule or regulation, may prescribe the conditions under which any livestock carcass, any part of it, meat, or any meat food product capable of use as human food shall be stored or otherwise handled by any person engaged in the business of buying, selling, freezing, storing, or transporting these articles in or for intrastate commerce.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-122. Dead, disabled or diseased livestock

No person engaged in the business of buying, selling, or transporting, in intrastate commerce, any dead, dying, disabled, or diseased livestock or any part of the carcass of livestock, that died otherwise than by slaughter, may buy, sell, donate, transport, or offer or receive for sale or transportation, in intrastate commerce, the livestock or part of carcass, unless the transaction or transportation is made pursuant to the departmental rules and regulations.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-123. Prohibited acts

No person may commit or cause the commission of any of the following acts:

(1) Slaughtering livestock or preparing any livestock carcass, part of it, or meat food product in any establishment operating solely for intrastate commerce, without obtaining a license;

(2) Selling, donating, transporting, or offering or receiving for sale or transportation in intrastate commerce:

(i) Any livestock carcass, part of it, or meat food product, unless the article has been inspected to assure it is not adulterated or misbranded pursuant to the provisions of this subtitle or the Federal Meat Inspection Act; [FN1] or

(ii) Any article capable of use as human food which is adulterated or misbranded at the time of sale, donation, transportation or offer or receipt for sale or transportation;

(3) Doing any act that is intended to cause any livestock carcass, part of it, or meat food product capable of use as human food to be adulterated or misbranded while the article is transported in intrastate commerce or is held for sale or donation after transportation;

(4) Selling, donating, transporting, or offering or receiving for sale or transportation in intrastate commerce any equine carcass, part of it, or meat or meat food products of any equine, unless it is plainly and conspicuously marked or labeled, or otherwise identified, as required by departmental rules and regulations, to show the kind of animals from which the article is derived;

(5) Buying, selling, transporting, or offering or receiving for sale or transportation in intrastate commerce any livestock carcass, part of it, meat or meat food product not intended for use as human food unless it is denatured, naturally inedible by humans, or otherwise identified to deter its use as human food as required by regulation;

(6) Labeling or selling hamburger, chopped or ground beef as "all beef" or "all meat" if the product contains more than 30 percent of fat, but the product may contain seasoning not in excess of condimental qualities;

(7) Labeling or selling any hamburger, chopped or ground beef mixed with poultry, pork, or other meat products, unless the content of all meats mixed with the beef prominently appears on the labeling of the package before the content of the beef is stated;

(8) Casting, printing, lithographing, or otherwise making any device containing any official mark, or simulation, or any label bearing an official mark or simulation, or any form of official certificate, or simulation, except as authorized by the Secretary;

(9) Forging any official device, mark, or certificate;

(10) Using any official device, mark, or certificate, or simulation of any of them, or altering, detaching, defacing, or destroying any official device, mark, or certificate without the Secretary's authorization; failing to use, detach, deface, or destroy, any official device, mark, or certificate in violation of the departmental rules and regulations;

(11) Knowingly possessing, without promptly notifying the Secretary:

(i) Any official device;

(ii) Any counterfeit, simulated, forged, or improperly altered official certificate; or

(iii) Any device, label, or any animal carcass, part or product of it, bearing any counterfeit, simulated, forged, or improperly altered official mark;

(12) Knowingly making any false statement in any shipper's certificate or other nonofficial or official certificate provided by the departmental regulations;

(13) Knowingly and falsely representing that any article has been inspected and passed or exempted under this subtitle;

(14) Neglecting or refusing to attend and testify or to answer any lawful inquiry, or to produce documentary evidence, if a person has the power to do so, in obedience to a Department subpoena;

(15) Willfully making any false entry or statement of fact in any report required by this subtitle or willfully making any false entry in any record kept by any person subject to this subtitle;

(16) Failing to file any report, required by the Secretary, within the required time or failing to keep any record required by § 4-120 of this subtitle;

(17) Refusing to permit the Secretary access at any reasonable time, to the premises, facilities, inventory, or records of any establishment at which livestock are slaughtered, or the carcasses, parts of them, or meat food products are prepared, or refusing to permit the Secretary to copy any records required by § 4-120 of this subtitle;

(18) Assaulting, resisting, opposing, impeding, intimidating, or interfering with any person while engaged in, or on account of, the performance of his official duties under this subtitle;

(19) Giving or paying anything of value to any person employed to perform any official duties under this subtitle; or

(20) Receiving by any person, employed to perform any official duties under this subtitle, anything of value, given or paid by any person, to influence his official actions.

[FN1] 21 U.S.C.A. § 601 et seq.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1; Acts 1986, c. 5, § 1; Acts 1994, c. 3, § 1, eff. Feb. 28, 1994.

 

§ 4-123.1. Inhumane slaughter of livestock

(a)(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

(2)(i) "Humane method" means:

1. A method by which livestock are rendered insensible to pain, by a single blow or gunshot, or by an electrical, chemical, or other rapid and effective means, before being shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut; or

2. Ritual slaughter.

(ii) "Humane method" does not include the use of a manually operated hammer, sledge, or poleax during a slaughtering operation.

(3)(i) "Livestock" means cattle, calves, sheep, swine, horses, mules, goats, or other animals that may be used in the preparation of a meat product.

(ii) "Livestock" does not include poultry or other fowl.

(4) "Packer" means a person who is engaged in the business of:

(i) Slaughtering; or

(ii) Manufacturing or preparing a meat or livestock product for sale.

(5) "Ritual slaughter" means a method of slaughter by which livestock suffer loss of consciousness by anemia of the brain caused by simultaneous and instantaneous severance of the carotid arteries with a sharp instrument in accordance with ritual requirements of a religious faith.

(6) "Slaughterer" means a person who is regularly engaged in the commercial slaughtering of livestock.

(7) "Stockyard" means a facility, consisting of pens, other enclosures, and appurtenances, operated for compensation or profit as a public market to handle, keep, and hold livestock for sale or shipment.

(b) It is the policy of the State to prevent inhumane methods of livestock slaughter at an official establishment.

(c) This section may not be construed to:

(1) Prohibit or limit the religious freedom of a person;

(2) Apply to a farmer while slaughtering livestock of the farmer; or

(3) Apply to ritual slaughter.

(d) A slaughterer, packer, or stockyard operator may not, unless by a humane method:

(1) Shackle, hoist, or otherwise bring livestock into position for slaughter; or

(2) Bleed or slaughter livestock.

(e) The Secretary shall inspect the handling of livestock in connection with slaughtering in an official establishment.

(f)(1) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $100 for each violation.

(2) In addition to the penalty under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the Secretary may refuse to provide or may suspend temporarily inspection services for an establishment that violates this section with respect to the slaughter of livestock.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

Derivation:

Agriculture § 4-123.1, added by Acts 1979, c. 666, § 1, amended by Acts 1980, c. 712, § 2, related to humane slaughtering procedures, repealed by Acts 2002, c. 26, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2002.

Former Art. 27, § 333A, related to definitions, repealed by Acts 2002, c. 26, § 1.

Former Art. 27, § 333B, related to humane methods, repealed by Acts 2002, c. 26, § 1.

Former Art. 27, § 333C, related to religious freedom, repealed by Acts 2002, c. 26, § 1.

Former Art. 27, § 333D, related to penalties, repealed by Acts 2002, c. 26, § 1.

Prior Laws:

Agriculture § 4-123.1, added by Acts 1979, c. 666, § 1, amended by Acts 1980, c. 712, § 2, related to humane slaughtering procedures, repealed by Acts 2002, c. 26, § 1, eff. Oct. 1, 2002. See this section.


 

§ 4-124. Detention

(a) The Secretary may detain for no more than 20 days any livestock carcass, part of, or meat food product; any product exempted from the definition of meat food product; or any dead, dying, disabled, or diseased livestock the Secretary finds on premises where it is held for distribution, or during or after distribution, if the article is capable of use as human food and there is reason to suspect that:

(1) It is adulterated or misbranded;

(2) The article has not been inspected pursuant to this subtitle or any other State or federal law; or

(3) The article has been or is intended to be distributed in violation of this subtitle or any other State or federal law.

(b) The article shall be detained pending condemnation proceedings or notification of any federal or other governmental authority having jurisdiction over the article. No person may remove any detained article until the Secretary releases it.

(c) The Secretary may require all official marks to be removed from the article before it is released unless he decides the article is eligible to retain the marks.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-125. Seizure and condemnation

(a) Any livestock carcass, part of it, or meat food product of any dead, dying, disabled, or diseased livestock that is transported in intrastate commerce, or is held for sale or donation in the State after transportation, and that (1) is or has been prepared, sold, transported, or distributed, or offered or received for distribution, in violation of this subtitle, or (2) is capable of use as human food and is adulterated or misbranded, or (3) in any other way violates this subtitle, shall be liable to be proceeded against and seized and condemned on a libel of information in the circuit court of any county within whose jurisdiction the article is found.

(b) Upon condemnation and entry of the decree, the article shall be destroyed or sold as the court directs and, if sold, the proceeds, less the court costs, fees, storage, and other proper expenses, shall be paid into the State Treasury. The article may not be sold contrary to the provisions of this subtitle or federal law.

(c) Upon execution and delivery of a good and sufficient bond conditioned that the article may not be sold or otherwise disposed of contrary to this subtitle or federal law, the court may direct that the article be delivered to the owner subject to the supervision of the Secretary to insure compliance with this subtitle.

(d) When a decree of condemnation is entered against the article and it is released under bond or destroyed, court cost, fees, storage and other proper expenses shall be awarded against the person intervening as claimant of the article.

(e) The proceedings in libel cases shall conform to proceedings in admiralty to the extent possible. However, either party may demand a jury trial of any issue of fact joined in any case. All proceedings shall be at the suit of or in the name of the State.

(f) This section does not derogate from authority for condemnation or seizure conferred by other provisions of this subtitle or other laws.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1; Acts 1988, c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-126. Oaths, subpoenas and testimony

The Secretary may administer oaths and affirmations, take depositions, and require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence relating to any matter under investigation or the subject of any hearing. The circuit court of any county may compel obedience to any subpoena. After claiming a privilege against self-incrimination, no individual may be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for any matter concerning which he may be compelled to testify or produce evidence in obedience to a Department subpoena, except for perjury committed in testifying.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-127. Principal also responsible

Unless otherwise provided, when construing or enforcing any provision of this subtitle, every act, omission, or failure of any person acting within the scope of his employment or office and acting for or employed by another person is the act, omission, or failure of that person as well as of the person committing the act.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-128. Reports to states attorney

Before the Secretary reports any violation of this subtitle to the State's Attorney of the political subdivision in which the violation occurred for institution of a criminal proceeding, the person against whom the proceeding is contemplated shall be given reasonable notice of the alleged violation and opportunity to present his views orally or in writing with regard to the contemplated proceeding. This subtitle does not require the Secretary to report for criminal prosecution any violation of this subtitle if the public interest is served adequately and compliance with the subtitle can be obtained by a suitable written warning notice.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-129. Equitable remedies

(a) The circuit court of any county has jurisdiction to grant injunctive relief to enforce this subtitle or restrain violations of this subtitle.

(b) Any proceeding to enforce this subtitle or restrain violations of this subtitle shall be by and in the name of the State.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 

§ 4-130. Violations of § 4-123

Notwithstanding any penalty provided by the provisions of this article, any person who violates the provisions of § 4-123 is guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction, is subject to imprisonment not exceeding six months, or a fine not exceeding $3,000, or both. If the violation is committed after the first conviction becomes final, the person is subject to imprisonment not exceeding one year, or a fine not exceeding $5,000, or both. If the violation is committed after the second conviction becomes final, the person is subject to imprisonment not exceeding two years, or a fine not exceeding $10,000, or both. The court may impose costs in its discretion.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1; Acts 1975, c. 170.

 

§ 4-131. Short title

This subtitle may be cited as the Maryland Wholesome Meat Act.

CREDIT(S)

Acts 1973, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 6, § 1.

 



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