Provincial governments in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are going to have to work out on their own how to inspect local slaughterhouses.
That’s because Gerry Ritz, the Member of Parliament (MP) from western Saskatchewan who also serves as Minister of Agriculture in Canada’s federal government, has decided to stop providing the service.
As part of his plan to cut 5 percent from the budget of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Ritz has decided to limit CFIA inspections to federally licensed establishments.
For decades, CFIA has also inspected about 100 facilities that process meat products only for the provinces where they are located. Shifting to provincial inspections will increase the risk of contaminated meat for consumers, according to the union representing CFIA employees.
Canada’s Conservative government says the shift in responsibilities allows CFIA to focus on on federally licensed facilities and the three provinces are up to the task of doing their own inspections for provincially licensed facilities.
CFIA plans to stop its provincial inspection service by 2014.