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Outcome unknown on meat processing

It’s still not known if North Okanagan farmers will gain the ability to slaughter and sell meat.

Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick met with Patrick Nicol, Regional District of North Okanagan chairperson, Saturday to discuss local demands for D and E meat processing licenses.

“He told me where the process is,” said Nicol.

“He will be taking a recommendation to the (provincial) cabinet in the next two or three weeks.”

No details on what Letnick may recommend to cabinet were provided and Nicol doesn’t have a sense if licenses will be granted.

“It’s pretty difficult to know but I couldn’t believe  there wouldn’t be a change,” he said.

“To the minister’s credit, he’s been the only one willing to take up a possible change in the regulations.”

The number of local producers has gone from 1,200 to 300 since meat processing regulations came into force in 2007.

RDNO directors recently demanded that the provincial government initiate class D and E slaughter licences so farm-gate sales can occur locally.

During the one-hour meeting, Nicol presented Letnick with a 500-name petition that calls for licenses.

“For our citizens and farm families, this has been a completely failed policy,” said Nicol.

“It has had a devastating impact on farm families. There has been no opportunity to expand their economic opportunities.”

 

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