July 30, 2020


Alberta, Canada, loosens regulations on livestock slaughter due to COVID-19


Alberta, Canada's key cattle producing province, has relaxed laws regarding livestock slaughter on farms for sales of meat to consumers, as COVID-19 disrupted meat plant operations in the country, Reuters reported.

Previously, only farmers and their households were allowed to consume meat slaughtered outside of meat plants that are government-inspected. However, farmers and mobile butchers have called on the provincial government to relax regulations to make it similar to other Canadian provinces in the west.

Justin Laurence, the Agriculture Ministry's spokesman, said the revised regulations, in effect from July 29, allow meat slaughtered by licensed farmers and mobile butchers to be sold to the public. But the meat cannot be sold at retail.

Operations at several Alberta meat plants were disrupted because of COVID-19, resulting in a livestock backlog at feedlots. The low retail supply had also pushed meat prices up.

Kelly Smith-Fraser, chair of Alberta Beef Producers, said they have wanted increased processing capabilities for years, and the relaxed regulation is a step in the right direction.

- Reuters