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The difference thoughtful comments can make.

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Those who are registered to this site will have received a notice from me today notifying of the outcome of the weekend inspection problems that were being faced by Wilma and Keith Watkins of Walk-In Acres. They provide a poultry slaughter service for local small-lot producers and were looking at not being able to operate unless they could have weekend inspections. Their letter to the relevant Ministers is posted on the Forum.

What are not posted, but which I had the privilege of seeing, because I was CC'd them by their authors were several letters of support sent to the same Ministers, sent by individuals and by the area Farmer's Institute.

The outcome was positive. I learned yesterday that the matter has been addressed and that Walk-In Acres will be able to continue operating under their Class "C" license until December,"to allow time for the outcome of the inspection review project which will be looking at flexibility in inspections services."

There was another positive outcome to all of this. What I saw was not only a well-considered outline of the problem, defined by the Watkins, but in all support letter cases, respectful and well-considered perspectives that showed not just that local farmers support their local processor, but that at essential link exists between the small-lot grower and the processor that makes small-lot production possible. The letters undoubtedly helped the decision-makers better understand the problem their policies were presenting...perhaps in ways they hadn't considered. Considerate responses and letters of support do this sort of thing.

It was all very refreshing to see.

In contrast, what I've lately been getting are negative one-line personal e-mails and empty cynical comments about the changes we can all anticipate coming to the provinces animal health legislation. No one-line negative comment helps. Nor do cynical comments about the kind of government we have. They are stupid, unproductive and unwelcome. And, that's all I've been able to take forward to the animal health meetings I've attended: plain and simple negative reactions by the small-lot folks.

What this matter needs is the same level of considerate thought and effort as was given the problem faced by the Watkins.

Animal health is a matter of serious concern to all producers, whether you own one cow or a thousand, four sheep or four hundred. And, there are already strong federal regulations governing serious disease outbreaks. What there isn't, is updated provincial legislation, which may well mean that, under present circumstances, I could have fewer options if there was an outbreak of some disease nearby that could potentially apply to my livestock.

You don't have to agree with what is proposed nor with my view, but it would be far better if those who have problems with it take the time to more fully consider the matter and make an effort to offer a constructive point of view.
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