The Province has completed a comprehensive review of options for provincially operated meat inspection services at Class A and B licensed abattoirs. This ensures that B.C. (British Columbia) continues to provide the most effective, safe meat inspection system possible when the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) steps back from this role.
Since the 1980s, British Columbia has contracted with the CFIA to provide meat inspection services at provincially licensed plants. However, at the end of 2013 the CFIA will be transitioning out of this role in B.C., Manitoba and Saskatchewan. As a result, B.C. will be responsible for the provincial meat inspection system. In all other areas of the country, provincial meat inspection is already delivered by the provinces.
To receive feedback on the report's recommendations and meat inspection system options, the government of British Columbia is launching consultations with industry over the next few months. B.C. will then develop a new provincial meat inspection system that works for all British Columbians - the industry, consumers and government.
The new inspection system will take effect January 2014. To ensure a stable funding system while this transition takes place, the Province will extend its agreement to fund inspection services until the end of 2013. This will bridge the gap between the current funding agreement, which runs out March 31, 2012, and the beginning of the new system. Funding options after 2013 will be established once a new system is chosen.
The industry consultation will be led by the Ministry of Agriculture on behalf of government. It will solicit implementation advice on the recommendations and options presented in the report about what the new provincial inspection system will look like, and how it can best serve the needs of all parties, while ensuring that the safety of the meat supply is paramount.
Source: Canadian Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture