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Hatch urges end to ban on some meat shipments

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, wants to butcher a ban against transporting across state lines meat that is certified as safe by Utah inspectors.

Currently, only federally inspected meat is allowed across state lines. And only larger processing plants in bigger cities normally go through the expense of arranging for federal inspections.Smaller plants in rural areas are often inspected instead by state officials, but by law must still meet standards at least as stringent as the federal government's. Still, laws have never been changed to allow them to export their meat.

"It is ridiculous that, under current law, a restaurant in Colorado or Idaho can purchase beef from Canada but not from Utah," Hatch said.

"This simple change will greatly enhance market opportunities for Utah meat processors. Monte Lucherini oper-ates a small plant in Logan. He told me that this bill, if passed, could mean 30 to 40 percent more business for his company.

"He said he would have to hire at least two or three more butchers and five or six more part-time employees," Hatch said.