Canrural Statement On BSE

Posted on Wednesday, October 19 at 10:02 by klingoncowboy4

The BSE crisis revealed our country's inability to meet its own demand for meat. When the U.S. closed its borders to Canadian beef, the Canadian beef industry entered a crisis situation. Why was it that closing the border had such an effect? Why was it that we still imported beef from the states? The answer is simple. We as a nation lacked and still lack the ability to process our own beef to meet demand. While Canada continues to produce more than enough cows to supply our need for beef, we did not have the slaughtering and processing capacity to prepare it for use.

You may ask "How do we remedy that?" Well, quite simply this incident demonstrates that we can't rely on private industry to keep the system going. What Canada needs is a Crown Corporation to manage the slaughtering of beef. Private feed lots and processing can still be allowed but this Corporation (lets call it for the puposes of discussion "Canada Meat") will pick up the slack. Canada Meat does not have to specialise in beef processing either, it can also process hogs, poultry, and other meats that our country produces. In doing so Canada will develop the self sufficiency it so desperately needs.

With the development of improved meat processing Canada can begin to trade with other world markets. Selling live animals in international trade is only viable when doing so with close neighbours. The United States is the only country close enough to do this with. If Canada is able to process and meet its own demand for meat then the surplus can be sold overseas. Canada will then be self sufficient and will be maximizing its trade options. Additionally this will create much needed jobs for rural Canadians.

We can get over BSE without the reopening of the border. We must improve our self sufficiency not only in beef but in other vital industries in order to prevent similar crises from occurring again. I ask you are we going to let our beef industry rot, or are we going to take action now?

Note: Canadian Rural party

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