Alberta relaxes animal slaughter rules after pandemic hits packers

Reuters – Canada’s main cattle-producing province, Alberta, on Wednesday said it would allow the slaughter of animals on farms for the sale of meat to consumers, easing regulations after the coronavirus pandemic halted the production in its largest packaging plants.

Alberta previously restricted the consumption of meat from animals slaughtered outside of government-inspected factories to farmers and their households. Some itinerant farmers and butchers, who travel from farm to farm, wanted the provincial government to relax the regulations to be more in line with those of other western Canadian provinces.

Under the revised regulations that came into force on Wednesday, meat from animals slaughtered by mobile butchers and farmers licensed to perform uninspected slaughter can be sold directly by farmers to the public, the ministry spokesperson said. ‘Agriculture, Justin Laurence.

This meat cannot be sold in stores.

Coronavirus outbreaks halted production this spring at several beef plants in Alberta, leaving feedlots with a backlog of cattle ready for slaughter and raising retail meat prices.

“Beef producers in Alberta have been asking for more processing capacity for several years and this is a step forward,” said Kelly Smith-Fraser, breeder and president of Alberta Beef Producers.

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