The farming community in Electoral Area A and Golden is looking for a chance to meet with B.C.’s minister of agriculture in hopes that a face-to-face meeting will convince her to see eye-to-eye with their concerns.
At the request of Electoral Area A Director Karen Cathcart, Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) directors have agreed to extend an invitation to Lana Popham to discuss possible changes to B.C.’s Class E Licensing regulations regarding animal slaughtering.
Currently, farmers raising livestock in Electoral Area A are required to drive their animals an hour-and-a-half to Invermere to have them slaughtered and processed.
A Class E licence would allow on-farm slaughter of 10 or less animal units annually. An animal unit is the living combined weight of 1,000 lbs of meat.
The B.C. government’s policy, however, states farmers will not be issued a Class E licence if there is a facility within a two-hour drive. This limits the ability of farmers in the Golden area to slaughter their own meat.
If farmers in Golden were able to apply for and receive a Class E licence, they would still be held to industry health and safety standards to ensure the meat was being processed properly.
An invitation has been sent to minister Popham’s office and the CSRD awaits her reply.