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Public urged to pen concerns over farm sales
North Okanagan residents are being urged to join the fight over provincial meat regulations.
Anyone upset over the lack of farm-gate processing and sales can write a letter with their concerns and then the Regional District of North Okanagan and Township of Spallumcheen will present them to Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick and other officials.
“If you have a passion for this issue, we will get them to the right people,” said Patrick Nicol, RDNO chairperson.
“People have rallied around that issue and the board has been a leader around the province in respect to that.”
RDNO wants the government to issue class D and E meat inspection licences so on-farm slaughtering can occur.
The number of local producers has gone from 1,200 to 300 since the regulations came into force in 2007.
Letnick stated in September that he has been instructed by Premier Christy Clark to address the concerns about the lack of farm-based slaughtering.
He has asked ministry staff for possible options to be presented to him by late fall, but he hasn’t indicated when amendments to the rules may occur.
Nicol is demanding immediate action to minimize the further impact of the regulations on farmers and the local economy.
“We need licenses here for small operations,” he said.