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Meat Producers Face Shutdown In October

by 5m Editor
28 September 2007, at 11:19am

CANADA - A provincial meat inspection regulation is threatening to shut down local meat producers at the end of the month.

FRUSTRATED FARMER: Lisa Daniels asks the public to sign a petition at the Fall Fair, urging the government to reconsider the BC Meat Inspection Regulation.

Under the BC Meat Inspection Regulation, a Canada Food Inspection Agency inspector must be present to inspect animals before and after slaughter, plus supervise the kill to make sure it is carried out in a humane fashion meeting the meat inspection regulations. Animal slaughter will have to take place in licensed facilities meeting strict sanitation requirements.

But while the BC government views the new inspection standards as a necessary step to ensure public safety, some small farmers feel they are being shut out.

Lisa Daniels is co-owner of Windfall Farm in Wildwood. Among other things, she sells organic pork, poultry and beef. All the animals are slaughtered and sold from the farm. Daniels' business is currently certified as organic and is visited by an inspector. Her business has been legal because Powell River, like many other rural communities, lies outside BC's meat inspection zones.

Daniels said the new regulations make it impossible to do business. In order for her to legally sell meat, it would have to be slaughtered in a facility. But there are not any in Powell River.

The BC government tried to address this problem in a couple of ways. They gave meat producers another year, in 2006, to comply with the new standards and put aside $5 million to help them do it. The BC Food Processors Association is accepting applications and administering funding.

Source: PeakOnline

5m Editor