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MLA Mungall says more locally-raised meat will be available in the Kootenays

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
June 12th, 2020

New Democrat MLA Michelle Mungall says that more people will have access to locally-raised meat in the Kootenays thanks to changes made by the provincial government.

Recently, the provincial government updated the Meat Inspection Regulation, which now allows Class D licences in each of the three areas and encourages the growing “farm-to-fork” trend in many B.C. communities.

Class D licence holders are permitted to conduct on-farm slaughter of up to 25 animal units for direct sale to consumers or retail outlets like restaurants and meat shops in the region where the meat was slaughtered.

“(This) announcement is good news for Kootenay farmers, producers, and everyone in our region who will be able to enjoy more local, sustainable food,” said Mungall, MLA for Nelson-Creston.

“I’m proud of the work that our government has done in collaboration with local partners to make this important change.”

The meat will be available in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District, as well as Electoral Area D of the Regional District of Central Kootenay and Electoral Area H of the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George.

MLA Mungall says these changes follow consultations by the Ministry of Agriculture and the direction of the Select Standing Committee on Agriculture, Fish and Food’s September 2018 report which recommended more support for B.C.’s local meat production and processing industries while promoting the interests of local producers, processors, retailers, and consumers.

Aimee Watson, chair, Regional District of Central Kootenay said this change will mean a reinvigoration of our area’s agriculture sector and provide a great opportunity to harness local food production to feed the remote communities of North Kootenay Lake.

“It will also assist in a desperately needed economic recovery and support jobs in our remote communities, and hopefully encourage more of the pig, cattle and sheep farms that used to thrive here,” Watson said.

The BC NDP government continues to consult with ranchers, abattoir operators, local governments and other stakeholders to review and improve the province’s rural slaughter capacity, and support more opportunities for the production and sales of locally raised meat products in B.C.

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