Response to 17-05 - Cattle Transport Regulatory Changes
BFO has been very active in our engagement with government on this file for more than a year. In addition to our participation in the formal consultation process with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), we had the opportunity to appear before the House Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Federal Liberal Animal Welfare Caucus to discuss cattle transport and the proposed regulatory amendments. BFO also initiated an MP letter writing campaign this summer where informational flyers were mailed to every Ontario MP highlighting the positive improvements that industry has made in cattle transport practices over time as well as the successful outcomes the current regulatory system has worked to produce. Three separate lobby days were also executed in coordination with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) this past year, where key MPs, political staff, and public servants from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the CFIA were targeted.
BFO is committed to continuing discussions with CFIA, AAFC, and targeted MPs to ensure that any regulatory amendments that are introduced are based on sound, science-based evidence that clearly demonstrates how the changes will irrefutably improve animal welfare and provide the highest percentage of positive outcomes for transported animals without reducing the competitiveness of the beef industry. Our intention is to coordinate with CCA and other provincial cattle associations to secure additional engagement opportunities with decision-makers this fall.
While we believe many of our messages and arguments have resonated with decision-makers in government, there has been little indication about when an amended proposed regulatory framework will be released for public comment. Based on our understanding, the significant volume of public consultation submissions and the high level of interest in the issue across the stakeholder spectrum have delayed the implementation timeline. While implementation timelines are unknown, BFO is committed to continuing the dialogue on this issue and welcomes any additional feedback from producer members.
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