MLA Leonard says more locally-raised meat will be available across the province

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COURTENAY – Consultations led by New Democrat MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard have led to regulation changes that will increase the availability of locally-raised meat in the Alberni Valley, Kootenays and the Fraser-Fort George region.

“Our government is changing regulations so that more people will have access to quality, locally sourced meat in their grocery stores and favourite restaurants,” said Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtenay-Comox. “I’m so pleased that the public consultations held by the Select Standing Committee on Agriculture, Fish and Food have led to this positive change.”

The updated Meat Inspection Regulation 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 the 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.

MLA Leonard 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. MLA Leonard was the chair of the all-party committee.

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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