Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett is asking questions regarding the public consultation on abattoirs and why it is limited to class D and E license which she says leaves out many Cariboo ranchers and license holders.
The government announced Tuesday that it plans the consultation in order to review rural abattoir licensing.
“The consultation should be expanded to include prospective applicants and any rancher interested in the public consultation,” said Barnett.
“Limiting the process to current and former licensees leaves out farmers who may not be seeking a license, but still need access to local slaughterhouse capacity.”
There are only five class A abattoirs and only one Class B in the Cariboo Regional District according to Barnett. Class D are not permitted in the Cariboo Regional District.
The Ministry of Agriculture said that the B.C. government is consulting with small abattoirs and other stakeholders for feedback and suggestions on how to improve rural abattoir licensing in B.C to help food security in rural communities to help more British Columbians enjoy B.C beef, pork, poultry, and lamb.
Class D Licence holders are allowed to slaughter up to 11,339.81 kilograms (25,000 pounds) of their own or other people’s animals per year, for direct sales to consumers or to food businesses such as restaurants and meat shops in the region the meat was produced. Class D Licence holders must also operate in one of the 10 regional districts (Central Coast, Kitimat-Stikine, Mount Waddington, Northern Rockies, Powell River, Skeena-Queen-Charlotte, Squamish-Lillooet, Stikine, Strathcona (Mainland and Discovery Islands portion only) and Sunshine Coast) that have been designated as rural remote areas.
Class E Licence holders may slaughter up to 4,535.92 kilograms (10,000 pounds) of their own animals (only) for direct sale to consumers (only) in the area the meat was produced.
There are currently 19 Class D Licence Holders and 27 Class E license holders in B.C.