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Meat regulations protested by NDP

Farms that don’t have a licensed slaughterhouse within 50 kilometres should be allowed to sell poultry and meat locally without running afoul of new meat inspection regulations, NDP agriculture critic Corky Evans says.

The new regulations came into effect at the end of September, over the objections of small producers who have traditionally sold meat directly from their farms. The B.C. government has provided $5 million to help producers build and upgrade facilities to meet the new regulations, extended the deadline by a year from the original 2006 implementation date, and offered six-month transitional licences to producers that are in the process of upgrading.

The rules are being imposed to restore international trade in the wake of mad cow disease and bird flu detected on some Canadian farms.

Evans says the transition strategies are not enough, and long-standing family farms are in danger of shutting down.

“Why can’t we be like other places that say: farming is a good idea, and producing healthy organic food in the community is a good idea?” Evans said.

“Why is raising chickens starting to look like raising marijuana?”

— Black Press

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