TORONTO — Introduce mobile slaughter, decrease abattoir taxation, and expand production insurance. These are among the 26 resolutions passed by about 240 delegates at the annual Beef Farmers of Ontario’s annual general meeting in Toronto on Feb. 21-22. The BFO board will debate each of the resolutions over the next 12 months and decide which ones the board will act on.
The 26 resolutions include:
1. To take a leadership role in guiding the government to establish a well-trained, government-run animal welfare inspection team to be put in place to properly handle instances of animal abuse.
2. To work with other Ontario livestock groups to investigate ways to encourage the acceptance and graduation of Food Animal Stream students from the Ontario Veterinary College intending to enter into food animal practice before a true shortage occurs.
3. To work with the College of Veterinarians of Ontario to have pregnancy checking removed as a veterinarian-only procedure.
4. To lobby the provincial government to create a pilot project for mobile slaughter that can be blueprinted across all parts of Ontario.
5. To lobby the Ontario government to investigate and support the reclassification and assessment within the current tax structure in relation to the abattoirs in the province of Ontario.
6. To work with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) to lobby the provincial and federal authorities to have these specified risk material rules investigated, relaxed where possible and harmonized with the U.S. rules where possible.
7. To work with the Ontario feeder finance program to raise the current number of loans to allow producers more flexibility in buying and selling cattle.
8. To lobby the appropriate entity that the risk management program be accepted as security for the cash advance program.
9. With the assistance of the CCA, to lobby both the provincial and federal governments for production insurance for beef farmers to cover the production side of their operations.
10. To partner with other livestock organizations to ensure all regions of the province maintain access to extraction equipment and emergency response trailers, as well as trained individuals prepared to assist first responders in livestock transport emergencies.
11. To review the electoral/board structure and county level delegate representation to determine potential strategies that will improve the strength and quality of BFO, their producers, and the greater beef industry and report back in a year.
12. To establish a procedure for a director training program to be held in the first month following elections and recommend it to BFO to also initiate this program.
13. To lobby the Ontario government to replace and retain a full complement of OMAFRA Representatives for Northern Ontario.
14. To require all board candidates to be present at the AGM to be considered eligible for director positions.
15. To support the program at Algonquin College Perth campus in any way that promotes and educates future beef farmers.
16. To consider compiling a resource, which includes clear guidelines, explaining the process for accessing emergency slaughter services and for compromised cattle that end up at sale barns.
17. To use a proposed budgetary increase to form a well-financed group to combat fake news with programs that can be used in schools, for improved beef resources for nutritionists, doctors and other front-line influencers to give them confidence in the real facts to recommend (Ontario) beef for health and well-being.
18. To lobby the Ontario government to make the Kemptville office fully available to agricultural producers during normal office working hours, with an open door.
19. To conduct a review of its membership list(s) with a view to eliminating errors and omissions prior to the end of 2019.
20. For BFO and CCA to work with the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency to investigate the feasibility of using CCIA packer PINs for direct-to-packer sales on shipping manifests as an alternative to applying missing RFID tags to cattle.
21. To research what effect cyclic climate change has or should have on their policy and lobby position.
22. To work with the Ontario Independent Meat Packers, OMAFRA and producers to establish realistic and practical solutions to mitigate E. coli risk at local abattoirs.
23. To work with the Ontario Independent Meat Packers, producers and OMAFRA inspectors to establish clear and practical solutions for dirty animals arriving at local abattoirs.
24. To initiate talks with all sectors of Canadian agriculture with the goal of creating a science-based, practical, and realistic food guide containing Canadian-grown food.
25. To work with the CCA to develop policies around advertisers’ misuse of words and phrases associated with the beef industry.
26. To persuade the province to change the checkoff legislature so that farmers who bring an animal to an abattoir but keep the beef are charged a checkoff fee.