Ontario Agriculture

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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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McGuinty Government Passes Animal Health Legislation http://www.news.ontario.ca/omafra/en/2009/12/greater-protection-aga...

McGuinty Government Passes Animal Health Legislation
New measures will help prevent, detect and respond to animal diseases and other related health events to better protect the people, animals and economy of Ontario.

The Animal Health Act, 2009, was passed today by the Ontario legislature. When proclaimed, the act will provide important tools to help support government and industry partners, including:

■enabling the use of quarantine orders, surveillance zones and animal health control area orders to help control the spread of any detected disease or hazard
■supporting a future traceability framework for the quick identification and control of disease and food safety hazards.
The passage of the bill comes after consultation with industry partners and the public on an animal health strategy for the province, which began in 2006. In the new year, the ministry plans to establish an ad hoc committee with representative industry partners, to guide development of initial regulations that will come under the bill.
I would have to agree with Joann on this one. ALL of the legislation pretending to enhance our food safety never, ever mentions the words "food security". If decision makers had even a basic understanding of the issue they would realize that you can't have one without the other. Galen Weston summed it up best last week in Guelph, "food retailing is the most unregulated part of the food chain. This allows us to buy whatever and wherever our customers dictate." "We would prefer to buy local, but it must be at a reasonable price." Nowhere did he mention food safety or traceability. That is taken for granted...esp for imports. For the vast majority of consumers price is the sole motivating factor in decision making, the rest is feel good rhetoric. The latest Biosecurity investment by Leona and the feds was driven wholly from within the bureacracy, definitely not farmers, where we already have traceability protocols that our respective markets demand, and then some. Its all about more power for the bureaucracy. When we do have a serious, real pandemic (old definition) I believe our public servants will react no differently than the authorities during the 'Terror of Mumbai'.....traceability systems, protocols, or not. We do not have the infrastructure (and are losing what we do have) to handle a mid level, let alone a serious pandemic.

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