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  Canadian Co-Operative Woolgrowers BC Collection Depots

BC Livestock Kamloops, Williams Lake, Princeton - Yard Manager - Ken Allison  250-573-3939

Robin Dalziel, Joybilee Farm, Greenwood   1-866-965-9665

Steve Lawrie, Black Creek, Vancouver Island   250-337-8488

Nancy Mallinson, Langley   604-534-2616   The wool pick up is at Dave & Christine  Stephens. Same as last  year  .   1781 Bradner  Rd. Abbotsford   Tel   604-857-0166  He has requested that  he will accept wool starting  Aug 15th , please call them in advance.   The date of pickup  in Sept 29th .      

South Peace Colony (Ben or Reuban), Farmington   250-782-8164



Update on the Sheep Industry’s Progress Towards Mandatory RFID Tags:


In preparation for mandatory traceability in the livestock sector, the Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF), government and industry have been working together to add RFID (radio frequency identification) tags to the list of approved Canadian Sheep Identification Program (CSIP) identifiers.


Recent adjustments to the RFID implementation plan will allow sheep producers to transport sheep and lambs bearing Ketchum Kurl-lock tags past December 31, 2012. Here are the details:


1.   Producers are encouraged to apply RFID tags to lambs born during 2012, however,
sheep producers may use up their existing stocks of pink Ketchum Kurl-lock tags until a future date is established when the tags will be revoked from the official CSIP list and no longer accepted at auctions or abattoirs.

2.  Producers may ship culled breeding stock that already bear a Ketchum Kurl-lock tag
until the revocation date is established.

3.  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will conduct audits to determine the
numbers of sheep and lambs appearing at auctions, slaughter plants and collection
points with pink Ketchum Kurl-lock tags.

4. The tag revocation date will be established when CFIA audits show that less than 10% of the sheep and lambs on offer on a consistent basis bear Ketchum Kurl-lock tags.

5.  The Ketchum tag revocation date will be communicated to sheep producers and
industry partners in a timely manner.

Mandatory traceability remains a work in progress; the CSF and its partners continue look after the interests of Canadian sheep producers.
Tags are purchased from the Canadian Co-operative Woolgrowers.  There are several types to choose from

Sent: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 1:23 PM

Subject: FW: BC Farm Animal Care Council & BC Ferries - request for input

HI all. Please see below a message I sent originally a few weeks ago.  We are really looking for some input for those of you who operate on the islands and may have some insight into this ferries issue.  Please respond with positive or negative comments, or any other insight you may have.  Thank you for your input.

Regards,      Andrea White, M.Sc., P.Ag., Industry Communications Manager, BC Association of Abattoirs

250-682-5698   andrea.l.white@mac.com  

BC Abattoir Members,

Bonnie Windsor is the BCAA’s representative on the BC Farm Animal Care Council (BCFACC).  Bonnie attended a meeting last week and some issues were raised regarding livestock transport and boarding of animals on BC Ferries.  The BCFACC is going to raise the issue with BC Ferries, but would like to have some input from our processors on their experiences.  Here are some of the issues raised:

1.     No priority boarding for livestock.

2.     Space cannot be reserved specifically for livestock, as the livestock is lumped together with commercial traffic.  If the spaces fill up, there is no recourse.  In some cases, animals have had to wait in the heat, cold or rain, sometimes for hours.

3.     Even if a reservation can be made, animals must be at the terminal at least 30 min prior to boarding; otherwise they are denied. This is a big issue, as when loading animals…anything can happen and cause delays.

We would appreciate any input our members can provide on this matter.  Please share any similar problems you have been experiencing, with specific examples.  If you have encountered any other issues, please include those as well.

Please provide your comments to me by September 30, 2011.  The BCFACC will take these concerns to BC Ferries on our behalf.  Thank you in advance for your assistance and cooperation.

Regards,  Andrea

More on the BC abattoir issue: (major concern is abattoirs having to pay for the inspectors which will yet again raise the cost of processing our sheep)

Good day,

I would like to thank you once again for participating in the Consultation Forum on BC's Meat Inspection System on March 4, 2011. The minutes of that meeting have been finalized in conjunction with consultation participants, and are attached for your records.

We found it invaluable to get to speak with, and hear from, each of you about several of the issues involved in our meat inspection system. Your interests are a central concern in the modernization of our meat inspection system, and the ideas and concerns you shared during the forum will help shape the meat inspection strategies being considered by the province.

One of the points raised during the meeting that we promised to follow up on was the request by the BC Abattoir Association that they participate on the BC Abattoir Inspection System Review’s steering committee. Subsequent discussions between the BCAA and the Ministry have led to an agreement that the steering committee is not the best venue for the association to communicate it’s interests, concerns or advice to government. This is partly because the steering committee is responsible for coordinating the entire review project, not just reviewing options for recommendations. Also the broad scope of their work requires extensive time commitments that are not feasible for most operators. The consultation component of the review will be enhanced, however, to ensure that abattoir operators are even more involved in the development of a new inspection system. Another mechanism that will allow the industry to provide further input into policy development on this topic is being developed.

Again, thank you for investing the time and effort to consult with myself and other members of the BC Abattoir Inspection System Review steering committee. This consultation was an important  component of our review process, and we look forward to hearing more from you and your colleagues as the review progresses.

Best wishes,  Kate Hughes

Food Policy and Program Specialist, Health Protection, B.C. Ministry of Health Services    250.952.3659


BC Ministry of Health Services British Columbia Abattoir Inspection System Review

British Columbia Sheep Federation Submission, March 18, 2011

   The BC Sheep Federation appreciates this opportunity to provide input into the review of the provincial slaughter inspection system. The meat regulations, in their various forms in the past few years, have been frustrating and confusing for many sheep producers in the province. This uncertainty has prevented the BC sheep sector from growing with the increased demand for lamb and mutton, and has impacted some rural communities that have good potential for producing lamb, but limited inspected processing capacity to allow for this potential to be realized.

   Many sheep producers have gone out of sheep. This has exacerbated problems for the processing industry which serves us. The BC Sheep Federation represents sheep producers in British Columbia. Sheep production in our province is for meat, milk, wool and genetics but the overwhelming majority of sheep are marketed for meat, primarily as lamb. Furthermore, many if not most producers direct market their lamb. Some of this may be to the end user, but some is for farmers markets, grocery stores, community distribution, or restaurants which require inspection in most areas at this time. Some producers sell directly to meat processors with inspected facilities, in either a supply chain or value chain system. 

   In areas of the province with an adequate number of inspected abattoirs, there has been a clear benefit to sheep producers who sell lamb. They can sell into restaurants and retailers and the customer feels confident in this system. Producers have the ability to increase their production, or new producers may be encouraged to enter the industry. In regions with good infrastructure, there is potential for increased sheep production. The uncertainty with the stability of the current system, particularly over the statement that government would pay for inspection services until 2012, has left sheep producers and their processors wondering what will happen after 2012.

   The challenge for some areas has been a lack of inspected facilities, or not enough inspected days to meet demand. Some inspected facilities operate seasonally, others are a significant distance from some farms which increases cost to the producer and stress to livestock. When there is a processing bottleneck and long waits or long distances to process, producers may be forced to sell good lambs live at auction where prices are highly variable or hold lambs for longer periods than optimal.

   The costs of processing have increased due to the upgrades to most plants and the increased costs to plant operators.  Some abattoirs may not operate a custom kill operation, or may operate only a partial custom kill operation. Many sheep producers sell lamb direct to the consumer and depend on abattoirs that can process lambs for this market. In regions that have struggled with these problems, sheep numbers have declined.

   This submission is focused on the operational and administrative aspects of the delivery of meat inspection services in Class A or Class B provincially licensed facilities. Related topics such as the new Class D and E slaughter licenses, slaughter waste disposal, construction standards for licensed facilities, transition processes for Class C licenses, etc. are understood to be beyond the scope of this review.

The BC Sheep Federation recommends the following for the future of provincial meat inspection:

a. the required/desired availability of meat inspection services; As needed, within reason and according to demand

b. the required/desired frequency of meat inspection services;

As needed, within reason and according to demand

c. potential supports for traditional meat inspection practices (i.e. food safety plans etc.);

Training should be available, there should be courses taught locally and a system to train and certify inspectors. Abattoir operators may also be trained to be inspectors. Class A and B licences by definition require a high, consistent method of inspection. Food safety plans are important, as are audits of the process.

d. payment models for meat inspection services;

Government should pay. Inspection service payment should be arms length, with the perspective that inspection is for public health and costs should therefore be the responsibility of the government. If processors pay for inspection, this will only drive up the cost of processing. Not only does this put a financial burden on the plants, it also puts it on livestock producers who do not have the other classes of licencing available to them. The cost would be passed down to the producer. If the processor pays for the inspection, there could also be the perception of conflict of interest.

e. the applicability of alternative approaches to meat inspection in provincially licensed plants;

Remote and isolated areas that were traditionally non-inspected areas should all be considered for “alternative approaches” due to the availability of government or contracted inspectors in the region. The alternative approach may include veterinarians in the area that could be contracted by the government as inspectors, or veterinary technicians and other animal health professional and animal scientists that are trained and certified as inspectors. Some abattoir operators are well trained and already have the credentials to be inspectors, and could self-inspect with a good audit program to back it up.  It is understood some areas of the province (eg Fraser Valley) have had a provincially inspected system for meat since the 1960's and the abattoirs in these regions are comfortable with an arms-length system, and it appears that they are less than comfortable with a perceived reduction in standards with self inspection or other alternatives. This should not prevent the province from considering what would be more feasible for an abattoir in another region where it would be costprohibitive or otherwise difficult to the current method of government inspection.  For some of these operators the case could be made for self inspection, with adequate training and certification and on-call veterinary backup and auditing.

f. current and alternative techniques of ante mortem and post mortem meat inspection;

As in (e) The province should have trained professional livestock inspectors that could work under contract on several levels, one could be meat inspection (ante mortem and post mortem), another function would be animal health (disease outbreak – identification, control, containment), and a third emerging role would be in traceability support and education.

g. how the inspection system can best support BC’s livestock farming and meat processing industries;

The inspection system should allow for province-wide production of meat for local rural communities, as well as production for urban communities.

 h. How the inspection system can support the market access of BC’s producers and processors and maintain high levels of consumer confidence;                              Inspection allows for increased market access and helps to give consumers confidence, particularly in arms-length third-party retail transactions (not direct from farmer to consumer).  The provincial inspection system should not be perceived as inferior to the federal standard.

The province should support education and extension services for producers in animal health, nutrition and management to produce high quality, healthy meat products. The province should also support education in animal welfare and handling for producers, truckers, auction marts and processors to give consumers confidence and ensure good quality meat and good animal welfare. The province should also support education in humane stunning, slaughter, good management practices in meat processing, and meat inspection. This would give good consumer confidence and support the meat processing industry in providing skilled labour and providing employment opportunities for the people of BC.

Recent information from Statistics Canada indicates that last year in BC, over 20,000 lambs were slaughtered and processed, but of that 20,000, over 6,000 lambs were imported from outside BC. That doesn't even include the processed lamb imported into BC from New Zealand and Australia.  Several meat processors and abattoirs have informed the BC Sheep Federation that they need more BC lamb to process. In addition, lamb prices have been rising throughout North America. It is a good time for BC producers to expand, and for new producers to enter the industry. We need assurances that abattoirs will be able to continue operations and serve the sheep industry, that inspections will be appropriate (third party or self inspected) to the type of operation, with an outcome-based system that has the goals of food safety and good animal welfare.


Advanced Payment Program for BC Sheep Producers is approved.

Loan applications are available on the website ( http://manitobalivestock.com),  or they can be mailed/Faxed to the producers.  

Toll Free number is 866-869-4008       Fax   204-774-1720   Tel. 204-774-4450

Co-ordinator:   Jo-anne Kinaschuk, Manitoba Livestock Program



Update on Wild Predator Loss Prevention and Mitigation Pilot Project

The main objective of the pilot is to generate and evaluate information that can be used to enable livestock producers to make a case for funding of an ongoing wild predator program.  The committee working on the program hope to have a Project Manager in place by the end of March.  In the meantime, the 1-866-398-2848 call centre number is in effect for problems with wild predators.  Sheep producers are encouraged to report losses as there is a huge lack of reliable documented information on the impact of predation on the sheep industry.  The BCSF representatives on this committee are Roma Tingle  rhtingle@xplornet.com or phone 250-963-7301 and John Buchanan  jbchnn@shaw.ca  .




Compendium of Veterinary Products

The Canadian Sheep Federation has obtained a weblink to the Compendium of Veterinary ProductsThe compendium offers complete and up to date information on veterinary products.


Other News Items:

Free marketing materials     www.freshcanadianlamb.ca


Check out the Canadian Sheep Federation website for more up-to-date news on the Canadian sheep scene.