54-1908. Director of Agriculture; powers.

The director shall have the authority to:

(1) Remove inspection from any establishment that fails to abide by the Nebraska Meat and Poultry Inspection Law or any rule or regulation adopted and promulgated under such law;

(2) Refuse to provide inspection service under the Nebraska Meat and Poultry Inspection Law with respect to any establishment for causes specified in section 401 of the Federal Meat Inspection Act or section 18 of the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act;

(3) Order labeling and containers to be withheld from use if the director determines that the labeling is false or misleading or the containers are of a misleading size or form;

(4) Require that equines be slaughtered and prepared in establishments separate from establishments where other livestock are slaughtered or their products are prepared;

(5) Appoint as his or her agent and prescribe the duties of such inspectors and personnel, including employees of the United States Department of Agriculture, as he or she deems necessary for the efficient execution of the provisions of the Nebraska Meat and Poultry Inspection Law, exceptthat inspection requested at times other than regularly scheduled inspection times shall be at the establishment operator's expense;

(6) Cooperate with the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States or with any governmental subdivision of this state in the administration of the Nebraska Meat and Poultry Inspection Law, and to accept federal assistance or assistance from any governmental subdivision of this state for that purpose, and to spend funds of this state appropriated for administration of the Nebraska Meat and Poultry Inspection Law, except that if the director enters into an agreement with the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States involving the acceptance of federal assistance and the utilization of both state and federal personnel, the salaries of state personnel involved in carrying out the enforcement of the Nebraska Meat and Poultry Inspection Law shall be comparable to those of their federal counterparts;

(7) Recommend to the Secretary of Agriculture of the United States for appointment to the advisory committees provided for in the federal acts, such officials or employees of the department as the director shall designate;

(8) Serve as the representative of the Governor for consultation with the secretary under paragraph (c) of section 301 of the Federal Meat Inspection Act and paragraph (c) of section 5 of the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act;

(9) Exempt the operations or any part of the operations at any establishment from inspection or other requirements of the Nebraska Meat and Poultry Inspection Law to the extent the director determines such operations are exempt under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act when such exemption would not jeopardize the public health or welfare; or exempt from the inspection requirements of the Nebraska Meat and Poultry Inspection Law the slaughter of livestock and poultry, preparation of livestock products and poultry products at any establishment in Nebraska when the director determines that it is impractical to provide such inspection and that such exemption will otherwise facilitate enforcement of the Nebraska Meat and Poultry Inspection Law and not endanger the health and welfare of the people of this state. The director may refuse, withdraw, or modify any exemption under this subdivision whenever the director determines such action is necessary to effectuate the purposes of the Nebraska Meat and Poultry Inspection Law;

(10) Adopt and promulgate rules and regulations prescribing the sizes and style of type to be used for labeling information required under the Nebraska Meat and Poultry Inspection Law, and definitions and standards of identity or composition or standards of fill of container, consistent with federal standards, when the director deems such action appropriate for the protection of the health and welfare of the public;

(11) Adopt and promulgate rules and regulations prescribing conditions of storage and handling of livestock products and poultry products by persons engaged in the business of buying, selling, freezing, storing, or transporting such articles in or for intrastate commerce as brokers, wholesalers, common carriers, or otherwise to assure that such articles will not be adulterated or misbranded when delivered to the consumer;

(12) Adopt and promulgate rules and regulations as the director deems necessary prescribing sanitation, antemortem inspection, postmortem inspection, labeling requirements, and facility requirements for the slaughtering and preparation of horses, mules, and other equines and other species in all establishments; and

(13) Adopt and promulgate rules and regulations as the director deems necessary for the efficient execution of the provisions of the Nebraska Meat and Poultry Inspection Law, including rules of practice providing opportunity for hearing in connection with issuance of orders under section 54-1905 and prescribing procedure for proceedings in such cases.

Source:Laws 1969, c. 449, § 8, p. 1510; Laws 2021, LB324, § 4.
Effective Date: August 28, 2021