Competition is necessary: The imposition of the meat regulations resulted in clear winners and losers. The winners at the time were those abattoirs, which were recipients of the MIES program funds. The losers were those that went out of business and those who were not entitled to MIES program funds because of their proximity to other funded facilities. Other losers became the producers.

Over time, many of the winners have apparently joined the ranks of losers. Diminished supply of animals for slaughter is, in part, a consequence of fewer producers, or fewer producers willing to make use of the funded program facilities.

A consequence has been the organization of an abattoir association lobbying for stricter laws and law enforcement to force apparent cheaters to quit, demands for compensation from government for not protecting their investments, and a strong vocal public resistance often played on the food fear theme to any form of competition, especially that of “D” and “E” licensed facilities.
Abattoirs are not public institutions. They are free-market business enterprises that, like all other businesses, must establish certain business practices, which include being clever, competitive and adaptable, to survive.

They’ve been given a generous leg up through public program financial assistance and have even been given what amounts to a certain level of franchise protection by a government that wanted to protect its own investment in this ill-considered policy program.

It’s time for that to end: for local abattoirs to either successfully compete to survive, or fail.

A free-enterprise government must eventually take that stand, let competition take place, and let the market determine the fate of these businesses.

It is competition, augmented by a scaled approach, a less intrusive inspection regime, and a shift in the onus back to, collectively, the producer, the processor and the consumer to be discriminating and to perform according to a peer-respected standard that will help resolve this meat regulation problem.