A Layman’s guide to herdshares in WV

I am not an attorney.
These are the rules in lay person terms as best I can tell:
You have to file a Shared Animal Ownership Agreement form with the Dept of Ag.
This form comes from the Department of Agriculture. Request one by calling: (304) 558-3550
The form has the seller and share owner’s name, address and telephone numbers
It explains what percentage is owned by the share owner, what they pay for board and care, and then it lists an understanding of the risks and liability release of the herd owner. It explains the share buyer cannot give the milk away to other parties.
You will received acknowledgement from the Ag Commissioner within 15 days of filing the agreement. Before filing, you need to, as the herd owner, have Animal Health Report Requirements completed, which will include a herd health plan. All of this will be public record.
The way the law reads, only individuals over 18 can be herd share members and receive milk.
All animals providing milk for your herdshare must have a negative test for both tuberculosis and brucellosis (date of testing or scheduled date). These tests are usually done by a licensed vet each 12 month period.
Have a vet or vet’s designee inspect your ground when there for tuberculosis and brucellosis testing. You must have your testing for tuberculosis and brucellosis 30 days before offering herdshares.
Have your animals in the Federal Identification system. Typically registered animals’ tattoos suffice for identification. But this requires you to be part of APHIS. You will NOT need to tag goats if they are registered and tattooed.
Report raw milk illness to authorities.
Have your milk tested before starting a share program at the expense of the Department, NOT at your expense, and then once yearly. The testing will be for coliform (should be less than 25), Standard Plate Count and negative for E Coli 0157:h7, Listeria Monocytogenes, Salmonella Spp., and Campylobacter Species.
You cannot mix raw milk from other farms with your milk to provide to share members.
Equipment must be cleaned and sanitized before reuse. Food Grade supplies only for cleaning and sanitizing.
Suggestions but not required by rules are:
You should have healthy animals in your milking herd and use good biosecurity. You should use clean water to wash equipment. The other should be potable. Milk should be cooled to 40 degrees within 2 hours of milking. You should keep it at 45 degrees until distribution.
You cannot give the milk to anyone who isn’t the herd share buyer. You can deliver the milk to the share member in West Virginia. The milk cannot be given to food establishments, farmer’s markets or other locations like this.
You cannot endorse the milk on the containers.
You are subject to a fine of not more than $100 if you do not follow these rules.

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