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Thread: Ministry posts report on the BC Abbatoir Inspection Review

  1. #1
    Dennis Lapierre
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    Ministry posts report on the BC Abbatoir Inspection Review

    You can find the review here: http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/protect/...sr-review.html

    The review outlines two options, essentially. One is to replace the CFIA contracted inspectors at BC, provincially licensed abbatoirs with third party inspectors who will continue to inspect the slaughter of all animals. The other is for the province to provide oversite of slaughter facilities.

    With the latter, inspectors would not be required to inspect each and every kill. With accompanying training, the facility operator would take on the responsibility of ensuring the high standard is maintained. In addition, the operator would have access to an inspector as often as the need arose.

    Now, this is too brief a summary to capture all that the review entails, but perhaps it offers enough enticement for you to give it a read and offer a comment.

    Which approach would you support?

    Here's what I'm wondering:

    There is no mention in the review of who would pay for which option? In the former, one can assume it would be the taxpayer who would pay for what would amount to a more expensive inspection regime. In the latter, it might mean the cost of processing would go up. If the operator was responsible to a greater degree for ensuring the high slaughter standard is kept, would that affect his liability insurance and therefore the cost of operating? That cost would be absorbed by the customer.

    I'm also wondering how necessary is the practice of having third party inspectors inspect each and every animal killed? Prior to the Regulations, this wasn't the case. Further, there certainly isn't that level of scrutiny applied in butcher shops, grocery stores, meat markets and the like where raw meat is handled daily. Are not each of these operators able to maintain a high standard without the constant presence of an inspector? Or, do I not adequately understand the difference between the two types of operation?

  2. #2
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    Commenting for now on only the last paragraph: the purpose of having inspectors present for every carcass is very different from the every day clean food processes present in "butcher shops, grocery stores, meat markets and the like". The inspectors in slaughter plants are full tilt veterinarians. Their job is to ascertain the health of the animal before slaughter and to inspect the internal organs during/after slaughter to determine if there is any reason an animal should not enter the human food chain.

    I have not read the report yet but will do so soon. It is very interesting to see the "spin" that the choice is between maintaining a fleet of inspectors or "having the Province provide oversight". In reality the choice is between having the plant operators do the inspecting or having independent inspectors do the inspecting. Occasional oversight would be less costly than hiring a fleet of veterinarians, for sure, but the question really is: Will we permit the plant operators to police themselves? Didn't work on Wall Street!

  3. #3

    A quick comment to the first post--not all inspectors are vets--I don't know about red meat but in the poultry end of things, they only need 3 months of training.

    As to who is paying for it--still up in the air--as of this report, they haven't even done a cost analysis yet for either option. The position of the members of ORG was that, since this is for the public good, the public (taxpayers) should pay for whatever system is put in place.

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