Monday, May 26, 2014

54 Vs. 300 Vs. 2,000 Bird Exemption

Based on a posting I made at Better Farming, I was asked to justify expanding the 300 bird/yr exemption to 2,000 birds per year.  Here is my answer:

You ask for the justification of a 2,000 bird per year exemption for small flockers when the average small flocker raises just 54 birds per year with a 300 bird limit.

With 54 birds per year for the average small flocker, that is using just 18% of the 300 bird/yr exemption.  Why then do we ask for a 2,000 bird per year exemption?

A small flocker who raises 54 birds per year, assuming 2 kg. per bird and 37 kg/person/yr of chicken consumed(Canadian averages), is feeding just 2.9 people.  In other words, the typical small flocker is feeding their own on-farm family.

As I understand it, there are 3 issues that restrict small flock chicken farmers:
  1. Profitability;
  2. Transport to/from Abattoir; and
  3. Advertising.

CFO has repeatedly said that the 300 bird limit was set with no thought of it being sufficient to be able to raise chickens in a commercially profitable manner.  I tried raising safe, nutritious, locally grown, and affordable chicken, and know from personal experience, it can't be done under the current regulations.  That is what launched my investigations, and eventually the appeal to the Tribunal.

By setting the 300 quota limit, which is far below the break-even point, CFO guarantees a virtual monopoly for themselves within Ontario.

Transport to/from Abattoir
Not all abattoirs process chickens.  There was a huge collapse of local abattoirs in 2005 when OMAF's new Meat Regulations came into effect, and on-farm slaughter was banned.  For me, I have a 300 km journey to the nearest abattoir that will do custom processing, then have to hire a refrigerated truck to bring the meat back to my farm.  This too, is a significant price and logistical barrier designed to drive Small Flockers into extinction.  I have asked OMAF for the scientific data and risk assessment to justify these oppressive regulations, but they have none, or refuse to supply it.  It appears that CFO and its lobbyists have achieved regulatory capture of OMAF, further strengthening their death grip on Small Flockers throats, and CFO's chicken monopoly in Ontario.

Small Flockers are banned from all advertising.  They can only rely upon secret or private communications, and word of mouth.  Most Canadians believe in and enjoy Freedom of Speech, but this is denied to Small Flockers by the millionaire monopolists of CFO.

Small Flock Poultry Farmers of Canada believe in full disclosure and truth in advertising.  On what legal basis is there a total banning of advertising by small flockers?

The CFO system has been well-designed by CFO to make small flock chicken farming an impossibility.  In spite of this, the number of Small Flockers continue to grow as we wait for the end of tyranny and oppression by the CFO minority upon the Small Flock majority.

If the exemption limit is moved from 300 to 2,000 birds per year, and the other barriers are reviewed, justified or relaxed, then the high fixed costs of small flock farming can be spread over a larger base, making it profitable and feasible.

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