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http://www.betterfarming.com/online-news/new-ontario-animal-health-...

Better Farming has an article posted about a new Act concerning farm animals called Bill 204.

Minister Dombrowsky, it would appear, is about to introduce legislation that closely resembles the america NAIS.

My understanding, please correct if I am wrong as this is just second hand info, that a licensing system for all animals will be brought in. The former minister of Agriculture has concerns such as
• Compensation for orders under the Act, such as destroying animals, is discretionary;
• It permits inspectors to enter and search properties without a warrant; and
• It creates red tape and expenses for farmers through licenses and fees.

"Diseases such as H1N1, avian influenza and BSE were considered in the development of animal health legislation, Dombrowsky says. But the bill is “a reaction to the industry saying we need to have measures in place” to enable the province’s chief veterinarian to take action to protect food safety standards and “animal health on farms.”

Minister Dombrowsky is well aware of the sovereign licenses to production each and every farmer in Ontario has by virtue of the land grants. She knows that every farmer has the sovereign right to production for personal use. Once the animal leaves the farm, marketing rights become the issue.

Yet, it appears she is about to take control of all animal farm production under the guise of food safety. She wants to seize the right to destroy personal use animals with/without compensation.

If the minister is serious about food safety, then she should be looking at import quality controls first. All food imports should meet the same standards of quality that she imposes on domestic production if she wants to keep any creditably to this piece of draconian legislation.

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The National Animal Indentification System in the USA is voluntary so I don't think many producers down there are participating....so it will be difficult to make all food imports meet the same standards.

http://animalid.aphis.usda.gov/nais/
thank you joe... but i thought this was of interest..

from http://xstatic99645.tripod.com/naisinfocentral/id29.html

Is NAIS Voluntary?

"Definition of voluntary as is used in government' "Federal agriculture support programs were established on two cornerstones -- local and voluntary. The local committees that provide oversight or advice for informal education, conservation, production support, credit, etc. are vestiges of this Depression-era bedrock belief. That programs should be voluntary (incentive based) rather than regulatory was the other bedrock belief (although this has been eroded with more and more programs being banded together such that to accept one you have to accept the full package)." Quoted from the Dean of a Law School;

No NAIS is not Voluntary, the trick is that the State accepted incentives, which is the money that the USDA alloted to Each State via the Cooperative Agreements. The States accepted the Whole Package, if you accept premises id, then you will have to accept the animal id and animal reporting, now you have the answer."

hemmmmm.... sounds familiar?
I agree totally Joann. It has also been one of my personal peeves that we continue to incrementally regulate ourselves into oblivion domestically with nil regard to the real food safety issues coming from outside our borders.....
A good point.
Yes Steve, it would appear that our Minister is a tad bit hypocritical when she attempts to legislate domestic production with little regard to processed foods that flow across the border.

Following is a link to a story printed by the New York Times. It is a lengthy story that follows some hamburger from field, and in this case, to the hospital with one extremely sick woman from BBQ hamburger. Who would imagine that the plain old hamburger on your plate would have such multinational origins.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/health/04meat.html?_r=2

The Minister is aware of the process as she received a copy of the story as did the federal minister of agriculture.

While it is an America scenario today, it is not a stretch of the imagination to believe that the process will be a common business model in Ontario in the near future if not here already.

Our Minister, it would appear, is trying her utmost to legislate legitimate domestic production to extinction whereby throwing the doors wide open for huge multinationals to pick up the slack in the demand of food.
I realize that legislation and regulation aren't the same for imports as they are domestically...
But let's worry about our own internal system here...

Look at Europe where food safety and traceability are high priority and have been around for years.
In North America we are way behind.Do you want another e coli or another BSE disaster?
This legislation and traceability in general apply to the producer but also the processor and everyone along the chain.

So isn't it a good thing to try and make our food safer and more traceable?
I can go into many ways/details/reasons that traceability in particular can help your operation's bottom line.
Food safety is just the tip of the benefits...

Sara
Traceability, by all intense purposes, is suppose to ensure a certain level of integrity. Being able to trace a product is one thing. Ensuring the integrity of that product a the final destination is completely another matter. There are huge gaps in the chain.

Cattle, chickens, etc. is NOT FOOD.

25 years ago, farmers supplied 80% of the domestic agricultural needs with 20% imports. Today the domestic farmer provide 20% of domestic needs with 80% imports. Integrity of the food supply is completely secondary to price. Traceability of agricultural commodities has less to do about integrity than it does about control.

I have been to Europe to talk to farm members. I was amazed at the concerns they had with regards to changes in agriculture. Their concerns echo the concerns here. Their traceability system has gaps in it too but is sounds good to the average person. Perception is everything. Reality is secondary.

You can produce the safest agricultural product on this earth but you can't force people to buy it when other choices (at a lower price) are conveniently available.

If our minister is truly interested in food safety she would ensure a complete level of integrity of all foods sold to domestic consumers be it imported or domestically produced.

Anything less is hypocritical and of little true value.
Joann,

As you may well have guessed I work for the traceability organization set up by the ag industry in Ontario.

We are well aware of the gaps along the chain when it comes to traceability and that is what we are working on addressing and if this can bring benefit to those members along the chain (which it can and will) we have completed part of our mandate in helping the industry.

Please feel free to take a look at our website and if you would like any information on pilot projects currently underway to address these very issues please let me know. I would be happy to share.

You are so right when you say perception is everything...consumers in Ontario already beleive that their food is completly safe for the most part and definately fully traceable in case something goes wrong. Check out our recent survey results for more detail. But that is one of the biggest reasons why we have to start somewhere and premises identification is where we have started in Ontario. Eventually we can have the strong traceable system that not only benefits each operation in their bottom line but assures the public as well.

Like I said we have to start somewhere and why not in our own backyard and let our own producers see the benefits that this can bring to them?

Sara
Sara you keep saying we have to start somewhere, why not start by bringing all imports up to our current standards and then if we need to go farther everything would be equal

Sara Avoledo said:
Joann,

As you may well have guessed I work for the traceability organization set up by the ag industry in Ontario.

We are well aware of the gaps along the chain when it comes to traceability and that is what we are working on addressing and if this can bring benefit to those members along the chain (which it can and will) we have completed part of our mandate in helping the industry.

Please feel free to take a look at our website and if you would like any information on pilot projects currently underway to address these very issues please let me know. I would be happy to share.

You are so right when you say perception is everything...consumers in Ontario already beleive that their food is completly safe for the most part and definately fully traceable in case something goes wrong. Check out our recent survey results for more detail. But that is one of the biggest reasons why we have to start somewhere and premises identification is where we have started in Ontario. Eventually we can have the strong traceable system that not only benefits each operation in their bottom line but assures the public as well.

Like I said we have to start somewhere and why not in our own backyard and let our own producers see the benefits that this can bring to them?

Sara
Sara wrote;"As you may well have guessed I work for the traceability organization set up by the ag industry in Ontario."

Actually, I did not know that!

Well, that certainly does change the way to phrase the discussion from my angle.

You said: "Agriculture is clearly an industry, one of the biggest in Ontario.
It is not just about the producer but also the supplier and processing sides of things where many many people are employed as well."

May I please correct you? You are referring to the modern word "agri-food". That word came into being in the 1950's.

May I ask who asked for traceability of agricultural production on the farm? No farmer (mostly cash crops) I know. We just don't see any in it but do see the financial burdens and loss of privacy rights.

There is an old saying that stemmed from political posturing for territorial rights ending with the Treaty of Utrecht.

"De vous, chez vous, sans vous", which means that negotiations would be held "about you, in your country, but without you."

In other words..... some would say the root of the phrase.... "The Balance of Power".

I would say without a hint of hesitation that phrase is very apt in regards to the proposed concept of agricultural traceability. Its about control without true consent or benefit for the very people it affects the most.
Hi Joann

Interesting points....Do you really think there is a grand plan to grab control or is it a simplistic political way to ease the consumer's mind that our food is safe...I think you are giving our politicians too much credit....back to your original point...



"Diseases such as H1N1, avian influenza and BSE were considered in the development of animal health legislation, Dombrowsky says. But the bill is “a reaction to the industry saying we need to have measures in place” to enable the province’s chief veterinarian to take action to protect food safety standards and “animal health on farms.”


They don't seem to trust the farmers in the case of an outbreak?
pigsrgr8 wrote:"Do you really think there is a grand plan to grab control or is it a simplistic political way to ease the consumer's mind that our food is safe."

The Act encompasses ALL farm animals. Farmers have a soverign right to production of ALL agricltural products that are hereditaments to Ontario farmland. Farmers have the right to raise/grow all agricultural products for personal use. Once agricultural products leave the farm-gate that is completely another matter that relates to marketing/commerce/trade. If it really was about food safety, personal use production would be exempt and property identification would not be the foundation of food traceability.

Cattle, birds. pigs are NOT food. They are living creatures that have a potential to become nourishment. Humans have a potential become a source of food depending on the ingestor.

The mere word "pandemic" instills fear in most people.

The WHO changed the definition of pandemic earlier this year, immediately previous to it making the H1N1 Pandemic declaration. There were 4 main criteria to define a pandemic but for some reason WHO dropped the provision of "high mortality" and morbidity. H1N1 has a very low mortality rate. Voila, we now have a pandemic on our hands!! When a pandemic is declared by a world organization, governments have the right to exercise certain powers. Fear is a great motivator. "In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly."---- Coleridge

"They don't seem to trust the farmers in the case of an outbreak?"

In order for our government to even develop a sense of trust/distrust they must pay attention to what is really going on at the farm level. I don't think they have the foggiest motion or even care about farmers.

Farmers are just flies in the ointment of property control, a UN idea that the things of the soil belong to no one but to everyone.

“Take special care that thou never trust any friend or servant with any matter that may endanger thine estate; for so shalt thou make thyself a bond-slave to him that thou trustest, and leave thyself always to his mercy” Walter Raleigh, Sr.

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