(a) No commercial slaughterer, custom slaughterer, commercial processor, custom processor or distributor shall operate an establishment unless he or she shall first have obtained a license from the commissioner, which license remains unsuspended and unrevoked. Application for such license shall be made on forms prescribed by the commissioner and shall be accompanied by the fee required in this section.
When such a person operates as a commercial slaughterer and also operates as a commercial processor, whether such operations are located on the same or different premises in this state, each such operation shall be licensed. When such a person operates two or more slaughterhouses not on the same premises in this state, or operates two or more processing plants not on the same premises in this state, a separate license shall be required for each such slaughterhouse and each such processing plant. Each license shall expire on the thirtieth day of June next following its issuance, and the annual fee for each such license shall be based upon the average number of animals slaughtered per year and upon the average finished product poundage processed per year, as set forth in the following table, except that the annual fee for the license of a person who operates solely as a custom slaughterer shall be ten dollars or as a custom processor shall be five dollars or as a distributor shall be five dollars.
Average Number of AnimalsAnnual
ClassSlaughtered Per YearFee Small1-500$10.00
Extra LargeOver 5000$75.00
Average Finished ProductAnnual
ClassPoundage Processed Per Year Fee
Extra LargeOver 1,000,000$75.00
Before issuing any license required by the provisions of this section, the commissioner shall inspect the applicant's establishment and if the commissioner is satisfied that the establishment is clean and sanitary, is properly equipped, and is in conformity with the provisions of this article and any reasonable rules promulgated by the commissioner, and if he or she is further satisfied that the carcasses, meat products or poultry products to be sold or offered for sale therefrom through commercial outlets will be wholesome and unadulterated, he or she shall issue the license. Each license shall specify the location of the establishment at which the licensee shall carry on his or her operations. The license shall also contain the establishment number assigned by the commissioner.
(b) When a licensee changes the location of his or her establishment, he or she shall not operate at such new location unless and until his or her establishment at such new location has been inspected by the commissioner and a new license has been issued, or when a licensee leases, sells, changes name, incorporates or in any other way changes the status of his or her establishment with relationship to issuance of current license, the new lessee, owner, etc., shall not operate at the location unless and until the establishment at such location has been inspected and approved by the commissioner and a new license has been issued in accordance with the provisions of subsection (a) of this section: Provided, That a fee shall not be charged for such new license during the license year in which the change in location or change in ownership, name or leasing was made.
(c) The commissioner may refuse to grant a license or maysuspend or revoke a license issued under the provisions of this section whenever he or she finds that the applicant's or licensee's establishment, as the case may be, is not clean or sanitary, or is not properly equipped, or is not in conformity with the provisions of this article or any reasonable rules promulgated by the commissioner, or if he or she finds that the carcasses, meat products or poultry products to be sold or offered for sale therefrom through commercial outlets are or will be adulterated.
Upon the refusal to grant a license, the commissioner shall furnish a written statement to the applicant specifying the grounds for such refusal. No such revocation or suspension of a license shall be effective until the licensee has received written notice thereof, which notice shall specify the grounds for such revocation or suspension.
Whenever there is sufficient cause for the revocation or suspension of a license as hereinabove specified, the commissioner may in lieu of such revocation or suspension, suspend inspections at the establishment. Immediately upon suspension of such inspections the commissioner shall give the licensee written notice thereof, and such notice shall contain a recitation of the deficiencies which must be fully and completely corrected before inspections shall be resumed.
Upon receipt of a written statement advising that a license has been refused or upon receipt of a written notice of the revocation or suspension of a license, or upon the suspension of inspections at the licensee's establishment, the applicant or licensee, as the case may be, may, in writing, demand a hearing. The commissioner shall hold such a hearing within ten days after receipt of such written demand, in accordance with the provisions of section nine of this article.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session