Slaughtering rules eased in the North Okanagan

Provincial pilot program will allow for give licenses in the region

There has been some movement on a major issue facing local farmers.

On Friday, the B.C. government announced plans for a two-year pilot project in the Regional District of North Okanagan for up to five class E licence operations.

“I heard clearly there is a desire to do more farm gate,” said Norm Letnick, agriculture minister, during the Vernon announcement.

Current class E licence holders are small farms located in areas  where there is no provincially licensed abattoir to fill the consumer  demand for locally produced meat.

Class E license holders are permitted to sell restricted amounts of meat at their farm gate and  farmers market.

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

The Regional District of North Okanagan has stated that the current rules have had a negative impact on families and the local economy.