1997 Regular Session

To: Agriculture

By: Representative Holland (By Request)

House Bill 1327



SECTION 1. Section 41-51-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

41-51-1. This chapter may be cited as "The Animal, Fish and Poultry By-Products Disposal Law of 1964."

SECTION 2. Section 41-51-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

41-51-3. It is hereby declared to be the public policy of the State of Mississippi, acting through its Legislature, to control and regulate the transportation over the highways of this state and the disposal of poultry by-products, fish and fish by-products slaughter house offal and wastes, and meat processing plant bones, meat scraps, fats, and all otherwise inedible meats and meat products, and the carcasses of dead animals, not slaughtered and intended for human food, to the end that the spread of poultry and animal diseases in this state shall be controlled and also that the public health and welfare of the citizens of this state shall be conserved and protected against dangers, annoyances and nuisances that might arise from such poultry by-products and carcasses or from such transportation and disposal thereof, if the same be not regulated by law. This chapter is designed to effectuate such purposes and public policy through the exercise of the police powers of the state. This chapter shall be liberally construed to effect such policy and to promote such objects.

SECTION 3. Section 41-51-5, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

41-51-5. For purposes of this chapter, the words and terms used herein shall have ascribed to them the following meanings:

(a) The term "disposal plant," or "rendering plant," or "plant" shall apply to and include any plant and all equipment thereof described or referred to in any section of this chapter that is constructed and intended to be operated for the disposal of poultry by-products, slaughter house offal and wastes, and meat processing plant bones, meat scraps, fats, inedible fish flesh, fish bones and fish by-products from processing plants, and all otherwise inedible meats and meat products, the bodies of dead animals, fish and poultry, or parts thereof or excrements therefrom, by means of burying or burning or cooking or otherwise processing, whether for the purpose of producing or manufacturing by-products or otherwise. Such a term shall also include all substations of any such plant that are used in connection with such business solely for the temporary disposal or storage of such poultry by-products, fish by-products, meat by-products and dead bodies, or parts thereof or excrements therefrom, pending final delivery thereof to any such disposal plant or rendering plant, and shall also include all vehicles and equipment thereof used in Mississippi for the transportation of such bodies or parts thereof or excrements therefrom, bones, meat scraps, fats, and otherwise inedible meats and meat products to such plant for their disposal therein in the manner herein prescribed.

(b) The term "dead animals" shall mean the carcasses of dead animals, parts thereof or excrements therefrom.

(c) The word "person" shall include individuals, partnerships, corporations, associations and any other legal entities recognized by law.

(d) The term "poultry by-products" shall mean heads, feet, viscera, blood and feathers.

(e) The term "slaughter house offal and wastes" shall mean heads, feet, viscera, blood and any associated material therewith.

(f) The term "fish by-products" shall mean inedible flesh, bones, viscera, blood and any associated material therewith.

(g) The term "meat by-products" shall mean heads, feet, viscera, blood and any associated material therewith.

(h) The word "commissioner" shall mean the Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce, or his duly authorized deputies.

SECTION 4. Section 41-51-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

41-51-7. Nothing contained in this chapter shall apply to or affect any of the following persons, matters or vocations, to wit:

(a) Any persons legally engaged in the course of slaughtering, butchering, manufacturing, or selling, in any manner, any animal flesh and products, where such animals are killed for the purpose of being used solely for human consumption, or any persons engaged in transporting and disposing of the dead bodies of any such animals so killed or of any parts or products thereof to any persons solely for such purpose and use.

(b) Any person transporting, disposing of, or selling the hides or skins of animals, or tanning such hides or skins for himself or other persons.

(c) Any bodies of dead game, birds, fish, reptiles, derived from a sporting activity, or small animals of any kind, such as dogs and cats * * *.

(d) Slaughter houses, fish processing plants and poultry processing plants which are engaged in the processing of animals, fish or poultry for human consumption and which are operating a rendering plant under the supervision of the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce or the United States Department of Agriculture for the purpose of disposing of the waste and by-products from such plants only.

(e) Any governmental agency, collecting, transporting, or disposing of the bodies of any dead animals in any manner.

(f) Any person slaughtering animals on his own premises for the manufacture of pet foods, provided the products of same are not transported from his own premises until canned or packaged and properly labeled.

No provisions of any other laws or ordinances regulating any of the persons, matters or vocations aforesaid shall be affected or repealed by this chapter.

SECTION 5. Section 41-51-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

41-51-11. All poultry, fish and meats and their component parts or products having physical characteristics of an edible product or capable of being used for or diverted to human food, and all poultry and meats and their products which have become unsound, unwholesome, or any other way unfit for human food including any rendered or unrendered grease, tallow or other fats, or the carcass or parts of carcass of any other animal or poultry which is unfit for human consumption shall not be transported or stored within the State of Mississippi until and unless the same shall have been decharacterized, denatured or otherwise destroyed for human food purposes. The commissioner shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary for the safe and proper handling of these poultry and animal parts or products in the interest of public health. The commissioner shall exercise the police powers of the state in the search, seizure, confiscation and destruction in the investigation and prosecution of violations of this section.

SECTION 6. Section 41-51-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

41-51-13. It shall be the duty of every person operating a disposal plant or rendering plant to apply to the commissioner for a license to operate such establishment, and no person shall engage in this state in the business of operating such a disposal plant or rendering plant without first having obtained for each such disposal plant so operated by him, or in his behalf, a license pursuant to this chapter.

Said commissioner shall keep a record of all applications for licenses, showing all issued, denied or revoked by him and such other facts as he may prescribe. The application for a license shall be made on a form to be supplied by the commissioner, and shall show the location of each establishment and the name and address of the owner and the name and address of the lessor or lessee. Such application shall also set forth the particular method or methods which the applicant intends to employ, or is employing, in the transportation and in the disposal or processing of poultry, meat, fish and their by-products or the bodies of such dead animals; the number and location of all substations he desires to operate, if any; the number and kind of vehicles he will use; and such other essential information thereto as the commissioner, by his rules and regulations, may require.

The application shall have attached thereto the affidavit of the person applying for the licensing that the facts set forth therein are true and correct.

Such application shall be accompanied by an initial fee of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) for each disposal plant or rendering plant, Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) for each substation operated in conjunction therewith, and Twenty Dollars ($20.00) for each vehicle unit used in transportation of the poultry by-products, fish by-products, meat by-products and bodies of dead animals and products of such rendering operation. Like fees shall be paid to the commissioner annually for each renewal thereof. All fees collected under the provisions of this chapter shall be deposited in the general fund in the State Treasury.

SECTION 7. Section 41-51-17, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

41-51-17. Whenever the commissioner, by his first inspection of the applicant's plant, shall find that the applicant has not complied with all the requirements of this chapter and of such rules and regulations, he shall at once notify the applicant in writing, delivered in person or by registered mail, with return receipt, specifying the particulars of such failure to comply therewith and of any further objections he may have. Upon being notified in like manner by the applicant in writing of such compliance and that such plant conforms to the requirements of this chapter and of such rules and regulations, the commissioner shall, within ten (10) days, make a similar second inspection thereof. The commissioner shall not be required to make more than two (2) of the aforesaid initial inspections of the same plant, substation and vehicles under one (1) application and the original payment of fees unless he so desires. If one (1) or two (2) inspections additional to the second inspection are desired by the applicant in effecting a compliance by him with the requirements of this chapter, such applicant shall request the same in writing and pay in advance additional inspection fees of Fifty Dollars ($50.00) for each such inspection so requested by him; for any further such inspections, he shall pay a fee of Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00) each.

In the event such applicant shall be refused a license and such refusal be finally sustained upon any appeal, no part of the fees paid by him shall be refunded, but all such fees shall belong to the State of Mississippi, as a part of its general fund.

SECTION 9. Section 41-51-31, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

41-51-31. The commissioner is vested with summary authority to hear evidence and to levy fines, specifically to enforce, and to prevent and restrain violations of this chapter and the rules promulgated thereunder. In the event subsequent violations of this chapter are detected, the commissioner may impose an administrative fine in an amount not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) for each such violation. In addition to or in lieu of such fines, the commissioner shall suspend or revoke the permit or license of such person in the manner provided in this chapter. The commissioner shall notify such person of such action in writing delivered by United States mail. Such person shall have fifteen (15) days after the notice is mailed within which to request in writing a hearing of deciding whether or not the administrative fine imposed should be allowed to stand. The commissioner shall have the power to issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses or the production of documents or physical evidence, to administer oaths and hear testimony.

If such person does not deliver the written request for a hearing with such time to the commissioner, the commissioner's original decision shall be final. An appeal, if taken, shall be perfected within thirty (30) days after the decision of the commissioner with the circuit court of the county of the residence of the accused. If such person is a nonresident of the State of Mississippi, the case shall be appealed to the Circuit Court of the First Judicial District of Hinds County, Mississippi. If any administrative fine imposed by the commissioner is not paid within thirty (30) days of becoming final, the commissioner may take such legal action as he deems appropriate to collect such fine and the court shall award the commissioner reasonable attorney's fees and court costs to collect the administrative fine.

SECTION 10. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.