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Raw milk ban may soon be lifted

“Ultimately it's about freedom, we should be able to choose to drink raw milk or not.”
Christina Mondragon and goat
Posted at 8:57 AM, Jun 19, 2024

OPELOUSAS, La. — When many people think of a dairy farm, they probably think of cows. Well on a farm in St. Landry Parish, you won't find any there.

Bridget and Jacob Stelly are the owners of JaBri Farms. They've been operating their farm for 11 years and have dedicated their efforts to raising goats.

For farmers like them, a new law could mean milking more goats.

“Ultimately it's about freedom, we should be able to choose to drink raw milk or not,” Bridget Stelly says.

HB 467 could lift the ban on selling raw milk in the state, but only for pet consumption. It passed earlier this month in both the House and the Senate and is now waiting for final approval from Governor Jeff Landry.

Selling raw milk for human consumption is still illegal in Louisiana.

With the lift of the ban, it will also follow proper sanitation practices, animal handling requirements, and routine inspections on farms that plan to sell their local raw milk.

“The label we are going to have to place on the milk to be able to sell it will have to say “For pet consumption only", now once you buy the milk, it's completely up to you what you do with the milk,” Stelly says.

According to the CDC, pasteurization is crucial for protecting against harmful bacteria in raw milk.

But Stelly and her family tell KATC they've been drinking raw goat milk for years, and if this bill becomes law, it could mean a substantial increase in revenue for JaBri farms. They also use the raw milk to make soap, lotions, and even shampoo, which they sell at local farmers' markets.

“Not only would we get revenue from our soap business, but we would be getting business from selling raw milk for pet consumption,” she says.

If signed into law, it will go into effect on August 1st. For the Stelly's, the choice should be up to the consumers.

“I would never try to pressure anyone to drink raw milk for myself; it’s a personal choice, but if you are open to trying it, you are more than welcome to stop by the farm anytime.”

To read the bill yourself, clickhere.