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CFIA Enforcement Brings Fines, Jail Time

Two companies and a truck driver are facing sentences for violating federal laws enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Omega Advanced Technologies Incorporated, an Ontario-based corporation, has been ordered to pay $2,000 to the Hospital for Sick Children and fined $500.

The Ontario Court of Justice sentenced Omega for its conviction last Nov. 13 for selling frozen turkey carcasses that were unfit for human consumption.  The offense occurred between Sept. 12 and Dec. 18, 2006.

Canadian federal law (Section 4 (1) (b) of the Food and Drugs Act) prohibits the sale of food unfit for human consumption.

The CFIA is responsible for enforcing a number of acts and regulations including the Food and Drugs Act that protects consumers from prohibited sales of food.

This helps ensure that all Canadians have confidence in the quality of food products they purchase.

In the second case involving a business, the Court of Quebec fined Viandes Valleyfield $2,000 for violating Canada’s Meat Inspection Act and its related regulations.

The company operates a CFIA-regulated facility known as Establishment 431 under the federal Meat Inspection Act and was found to have used an electrical prod on an animal in violation of subsection 62(2) of the Meat Inspection Regulations, 1990 on October 2, 2007.

CFIA is responsible for enforcing a variety of federal statutes, including the Meat Inspection Act and Regulations.

Under this Canadian law, handling food animals in a manner that subjects them to avoidable stress or avoidable pain is prohibited. Registered establishments must also comply with requirements for the unloading, holding and movement of animals in slaughterhouses.

Finally, a 27-year old Manitoba trucker was sentenced to an intermittent jail sentence of 30 days for inhumane treatment and transportation of horses that were seriously injured while being trucked to the slaughterhouse.

Geoffrey Giesbrecht entered a guilty plea to one count of violating subsection 138(4) of the Health of Animals Act, relating to an incident that took place on November 7, 2007. Fourteen horses died or were euthanized following the November 2007 incident. The intermittent 30-day jail sentence is to be served on weekends.

CFIA is responsible for enforcing the Health of Animals Act and its regulations. The Health of Animals Act regulates, among other things, the humane treatment of animals and their care, handling, disposition and transportation.

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