Proposed meat inspection bill could slaughter small producers
April 16, 2004
BRITISH COLUMBIA, — The Beyond Factory Farming Coalition joins with small family farm livestock producers, small abattoir operators, environmental, health, and food security groups in calling for a re-think on the province’s proposed new meat inspection rules.
BC’s proposed meat inspection rules will result in smaller, regional and remote abattoirs going out of business due to an unfair and unnecessary burden of costs.
The outcome will be even greater concentration of poultry production in the Fraser Valley, as smaller communities import, instead of produce, more of the meat they eat.
The avian flu fiasco highlights the economic and health risks inherent in heavily concentrated, high-volume confined factory farm-based meat production methods.
With 19 million Fraser Valley chickens on death row, it is time to re-evaluate BC’s agriculture strategy and come up with a better way to manage livestock production.
We recommend a provincial Meat Inspection Regulation that appropriately addresses all scales of meat slaughter and processing operations, including suitable health and safety regulations, certification and training for personnel, and appropriate inspection regime, traceability and accountability measures, and BSE protection measures.
The destructive impacts of industrial farming practices are being felt across Canada. Not only is avian flu devastating chicken producers in BC, but Mad Cow is impoverishing Canada’s cattle farmers, and mega hog barns on the Prairies, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick are putting hog farmers out of business. “Get big or get out” agriculture policies, such as BC’s proposed meat inspection regulations, are producing crises and hardship and threatening the long-term viability of Canada’s food production system.
1An Ipsos-Reid Poll released today shows that 89% of Canadians want provincial and federal government support to go to family farms with environmentally-friendly livestock production systems and not large corporate farms. Today, the Beyond Factory Farming Coalition, made up of national, provincial and local organizations that represent thousands of Canadians, is calling upon governments to do just that.
For more information contact: Catherine Kleinsteuber, Kelly Creek Organic Producers — (604) 487-0387 Cathy Holtslander, Beyond Factory Farming Coalition, — (306) 229-4075
1These are the findings of an Ipsos-Reid/Council of Canadians poll conducted from March 30th to April 1st 2004. For the telephone survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 1000 adult Canadians was interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ¬± 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult Canadian population been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample’s regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual Canadian population according to the 2001 Census data. Please visit http://www.ipsos-reid.com to view the survey findings.