One hundred years ago, most families and almost every farmer had a small flock of chickens, as a ready source of eggs and meat.
Today, we have Food Banks straining from a 40% increase in the last 5 years, 10% of Canadian families can't access the food they need, and Food Deserts (large areas where there is little or no food availability for the people). The Canadian retail price of chicken has gone up 38% in the last 5 years.
To me, this isn't progress.
In 2005, new regulations were passed in Ontario Canada, as well as many other jurisdictions prohibiting the on-farm slaughtering and selling of all meats. This was done because of the fear about Mad Cow Disease. While poultry are immune to Mad Cow, they were swept up in the government's panic to respond. Lobbying efforts by the monopoly of Big Food producers encouraged throwing poultry into the government's Mad Cow dragnet, thereby giving Big Food a 99.97% monopoly on meat production.
There are about 13,000 Small Flock Poultry Farmers in Ontario, 35,000 across Canada. Small Flock Poultry Farmers want restoration of their ability to deliver safe, nutritious, locally grown poultry meats as an alternative to the Supply Management chicken monopoly of today.
For more info, see our Blog: http://canadiansmallflockers.blogspot.ca/
To: Ontario Premier and Agriculture Minister Kathleen Wynne
Dear Premier Wynne:
I am concerned about food security for the people of Ontario.
Therefore I petition to amend the Ontario Meat Regulations so farmers are permitted to grow, slaughter, and sell their self-inspected poultry at their farm-gate for up to 300 birds per year, and other similar meats; provided the farmer meets reasonable science-based food safety standards, and gives full disclosure to each customer for the entire birth-to-meat process.
I understand that 10% of Canadian families can't access the food they need, there is a 40% increase in Food Bank use in the last 5 years, prices on staple food items (eg. bread, flour, sugar, meat, vegetables, etc.) have increased 30% to 200% in the last 5 years, and there are numerous areas of Ontario that can be classified as Food Deserts (ie. areas where there is minimal or no food available to support the local population).
I also understand that there are many rural, remote, and Northern areas of Ontario that are under-serviced by the current food distribution system, or there is no local abattoir that is government licensed and inspected for producing meat for retail sale.
I also understand that Ontario currently has over 13,000 small flock poultry farmers, spread throughout Ontario. Since 2005, these small flock poultry farmers have been prevented from self-slaughtering and farm-gate selling of their poultry due to Ontario's new Meat Regulations. I believe with proper training and care, these farmers would be able to produce and sell self-slaughtered poultry that is safe, just like farmers have done for centuries before.