Alberta eases animal slaughter rules after COVID-19 outbreaks at meat plants

The Canadian province of Alberta will allow animals to be slaughtered on farms for meat sales to consumers.
calendar icon 30 July 2020
clock icon 1 minute read

Reuters reports that the province loosened regulations after the coronavirus crisis interrupted operations at Alberta’s biggest meat packing plant.

Alberta, which is Canada’s main cattle-producing province, previously restricted the consumption of meat from animals slaughtered outside government-inspected plants – only permitting consumption for farmers and their households. Some farmers and mobile butchers called on the provincial government to ease the rules so they were more in line with regulations in other Canadian prairie provinces.

Agriculture Ministry spokesman Justin Laurence told Reuters that the new regulations, which went into effect on 29 July, stipulate that meat from animals killed by mobile butchers and farmers licensed to carry out uninspected slaughter can be sold directly by farmers to the public. However, the meat cannot be sold in stores.

COVID-19 outbreaks have interrupted meat processing at several Alberta beef plants, leaving slaughter-weight cattle on feedlots and inflating retail meat prices.

“Alberta beef producers have been asking for increased processing capabilities for several years and this is a positive step forward,” said Kelly Smith-Fraser, a rancher and chair of Alberta Beef Producers.

Read more about this story here.

Source: Reuters

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