House Bill 609, sponsored by Rep. Bill Pigott, would outlaw the sale of goat’s milk in the state. Those who violate the law could be sentenced to 60 days in jail and pay fines up to $500.
According to state law, the state allows the sale of goat’s milk if:
- The milk is sold directly to the consumer on the production premises.
- Nine or fewer producing goats are located at the farm where the milk is sold.
- The seller can’t advertise the milk for sale.
The law also has cleanliness requirements for the milking area, including sterile containers enforced by the state Department of Health. This bill would strike the sections governing the sale of goat’s milk from the law. The current law has a repealer on it, meaning it expires at the end of the fiscal year on June 30 if action is not taken first.
Mississippi provides limited access to raw milk for consumers. The state does not allow raw milk to be sold in stores, nor can raw cow’s milk be sold for human consumption. The state currently allows on-farm sales of goat’s milk only.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture, dairy goat herds expanded faster than any major livestock group from 2007 to 2017.
Individuals should have the freedom to purchase the milk they choose, free of government intrusion. We should be expanding access of raw milk to those who choose it, not outlawing it altogether.
MCPP has reviewed this legislation and finds that it violates our principles and therefore should be opposed.
Read HB 609.
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