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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler is worried that across-the-board federal spending cuts required by Washington could slow meat inspections at North Carolina slaughterhouses and hurt farmers and chicken, beef and bacon consumers.

Troxler said Tuesday the automatic cuts could mean federal meat inspectors are furloughed, putting pressure on state meat inspectors and inspectors whose costs are shared between the state and Washington. Inspectors must be at plants when slaughters and some packaging occur.

Troxler says fewer inspectors could mean farmers must hold on to livestock longer, leading to higher feed costs he thinks may be passed on to the public.

Attorney General Roy Cooper, Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and schools chief June Atkinson also raised concerns at Tuesday's Council of State meeting about the cuts on their departments.

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