The Livestock Lost series examines the farming and business of meat, dairy and egg production. It will explore the known and unknown dangers of meat production and what people can do to source alternatives to what many would refer to as a cultural staple of the North American diet.
Part II - Local Meat? "Not in My Backyard?" In this second installment of the series, we examine how one community is responding to more restrictive slaughterhouse regulations in the face of increasing demand for safe and humanely-produced local meat.
The narrow Slocan Valley, situated in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia, is home to many small-scale farmers raising livestock. The region is one of many in the province without a licensed slaughterhouse -- and any sale of local meat in the area is now deemed criminal, according to regulations put in place in October 2007.
In response, a co-operative abattoir (slaughterhouse) group was formed to ensure that meat can continue to be processed legally in the region. However, the group is now facing opposition from nearby meat-eaters and vegetarians who don't want an abattoir in their neighborhoods.
Kenyon McGee, Spokesperson, Slocan Valley Abattoir Co-operative (Winlaw, BC) - Kenyon is a lawyer with Kenyon McGee Law Corporation and has been involved with the abattoir co-operative since it was first formed in 2007. He has lived in the area for 30 years and has had experience raising and butchering livestock.
Corky Evans, MLA Nelson-Creston / NDP Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Lands, "New Democratic Party of British Columbia" (Winlaw, BC) - Corky Evans was elected as the MLA for Nelson Creston in 1991, and was re-elected in 1996. He was once again elected to represent his constituents on May 17, 2005. Corky has ten years experience as an MLA, during which time he served in many cabinet portfolios, including Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. He now serves as Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Lands.
Abra Brynne, MIES Help Desk, British Columbia Food Processors Association (BCFPA) (Nelson, BC) - Abra has been hired part-time to work with the BCFPA's Meat Industry Enhancement Strategy (MIES). Her role is to work with producers in the southern part of the Province and assist them in the transition to the new inspection regulations put in place in October 2007.