Safe Food Increasing Costs For Beef Producers

CANADA - The cost of new measures to protect Canadian beef from contamination by bovine spongiform encephalopathy will be borne by Ontario cattle producers unless the province provides some financial help, said the manager of a packing plant near Durham
calendar icon 13 August 2007
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Chet Calhoun said legislation which came into effect a monthy ago is driving up the cost of processing each animal by about $40 because of the disposal of the parts that could be infected by BSE. They include the head, the spine and the spinal column, part of the small intestines, the skull, brain, nerves attached to the brain, eyes and tonsils all of cattle aged 30 months or older and part of the small intestines in cattle of all ages.

It amounts to an average of 80 pounds for each animal slaughtered.

A $50,000 federal government grant helped offset the cost of building a $100,000 refrigerated storage facility where the cattle parts are kept until they can be transported to a pet food producer in Atwood, near Listowel.

Calhoun said he’s had to hire two more employees to meet the requirements of the new legislation.

The costs of handling, transporting and disposing the banned materials amounts to about $40 per animal, which is currently being paid for by the packers.

For West Grey Premium Beef, which processes about 200 cattle a week, it will amount to more than $416,000 a year. That’s well beyond the one per cent profit margin by which the company operates, Calhoun said.

Source: Owen Sound Sun Times
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