Food & Drug Protection Division

Food Program

Rabbit Processing

Information and Resources for the Processing and Sale of Rabbit Meat

Why is rabbit processing now regulated by the NCDA&CS Food & Drug Protection Division?

Traditionally, rabbit processing has been regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture and NCDA&CS Meat and Poultry Inspection Division (MPID). In 2009, regulatory authority for rabbits as food shifted to the FDA and NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division. The exemptions and licensing previously required by NCDA&CS Meat and Poultry Inspection Division did not carryover; specifically 1,000 head inspection exemption and possession of a meat handler’s license are no longer applicable or required.

What are the requirements under NCDA&CS Food & Drug Protection Division to process rabbits?

What are the recommendations for rabbit processors?

  • Complete the Rabbit HACCP course offered by NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division personnel (if not offered prior to inspection, attendance requested after production begins)

How can I sell my product to a restaurant?

  • Restaurants are subject to North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Environmental Health Services regulation
  • If your product originates from a NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division inspected facility and operation, you are currently considered an “approved source” able to sell to restaurants

Where can I get help in marketing my product?

The NCDA&CS Marketing Division can provide marketing assistance.  For more information, visit the Marketing Division website at The Marketing Division can help home processors build a web presence for their business through the NCDA&CS General Store, a directory of North Carolina agricultural goods and services.


This handout provides useful information to individuals interested in processing and selling rabbit meat.

General questions about rabbit processing can be e-mailed to

If you do not use e-mail or for more specific inquiries, contact a member of the Food and Drug Protection Division Compliance staff at (919) 733-7366.





Food Program, Jim Melvin, Assistant Director of Regulatory Programs
Mailing Address: 1070 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1070
Physical Address: 4000 Reedy Creek Road, Raleigh NC 27607-6465
Phone: (919) 733-7366; FAX: (919) 733-6801