Section 2-17-25

Designation and powers of commissioner as state agency for cooperating with Secretary of Agriculture; jurisdiction of commissioner exclusive as to activities covered by chapter; cooperation with other governmental branches and agencies.

(a) The commissioner is hereby designated as the state agency which shall be responsible for cooperating with the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States under the provisions of the federal Meat Inspection Act and the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act, and such agency is hereby directed to cooperate with the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States in developing and administering the meat and poultry inspection program of this state under this chapter to assure that its requirements will be at least equal to those imposed by the applicable provisions of the federal Meat Inspection Act and the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act and in developing and administering the program of this state under this chapter in such manner as will effectuate the purposes of this chapter and said federal acts.

(b) In such cooperative efforts, the commissioner is authorized to accept from said Secretary of Agriculture of the United States advisory assistance in planning and otherwise developing the state program, technical and laboratory assistance and training (including necessary curricular and instructional materials and equipment) and financial and other aid for administration of such a program. The commissioner is further authorized to spend public funds of this state appropriated for administration of this chapter to pay 50 percent of its estimated total cost of the cooperative programs so developed.

(c) The commissioner is further authorized to recommend to the said Secretary of Agriculture of the United States such officials or employees of this state as the commissioner shall designate for appointment to the advisory committee provided for in Section 301 of the federal Meat Inspection Act, and the commissioner shall serve as the representative of the Governor of this state for consultation with said secretary under paragraph (c) of Section 301 of said act, unless the Governor shall select and designate another representative.

(d) For the purpose of preventing and eliminating burdens on intrastate commerce with respect to meat and poultry and meat products and poultry products, the jurisdiction of the commissioner within the scope of this chapter shall be exclusive, and no county or municipal board of health or other county or municipal agency shall have any power or jurisdiction to regulate the slaughtering of any cattle, sheep, swine, goats, horses, mules or other equines or poultry or the preparation or transportation of the carcasses or parts thereof or the meat and meat products and poultry products of such animals or birds, nor shall any county or municipal board of health or other county or municipal agency have any power or jurisdiction with regard to the inspections provided for in this chapter, nor with respect to any other activity committed to the authority of the commissioner by this chapter.

(e) In carrying out the provisions of this chapter, the commissioner may cooperate with all other branches of government, county and municipal, and with county and municipal health departments or other agencies and may conduct such examinations, investigations and inspections as provided for in this chapter and as he determines practical through any officer or employee of the state or any municipality or county in the state qualified for such purpose. The commissioner is also authorized and empowered to enter into contracts with any municipal or county health departments to carry out the duties and requirements of this chapter. Any municipal or county health department is also authorized and empowered to enter into contracts with the commissioner for the purpose of meeting the requirements of this chapter.

(f) Nothing contained in this section shall preclude or restrict any municipality or county from the exercise of its police powers with regard to the establishment and maintenance of the facilities at which the activities regulated by this chapter are conducted.

(Acts 1969, No. 1049, p. 1939, §22.)