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Maine Eyes Change To Rabbit Rules In Bid To Expand Production For Food

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine's legislature is considering a proposal that some members of the state's meat industry say could expand the production of rabbits for food in the state.The bill would allow producers who slaughter fewer than 1,000 rabbits per year to sell whole rabbit carcasses without inspection at farms, farmers' markets, locally-owned restaurants and other community establishments.The rabbit producers would also have to be registered according to state statutes.The Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry held a public hearing about the proposal on Thursday. Some rabbit producers say the rules would help make it easier to raise the animals for meat in the state. They say inspection requirements make it expensive and burdensome.The proposal was presented by Democratic Rep. Matthea Elisabeth Larsen Daughtry of Brunswick.