Cariboo-Chilcotin BC Liberal MLA Donna Barnett has been given until Jan. 29, by the NDP provincial government, to find a new operator for the mobile abattoir, pictured behind her, that was recently closed at Findlay Meats on Horse Lake Road. Carole Rooney photo.

Abattoir is on the block

Mobile slaughterhouse needs operator by Jan. 29 or it goes back to government

The mobile abattoir provided by the then-Liberal government to the South Cariboo community, and operated by Findlay Meats until the end of December, will go back into the province’s hands if no new operator steps forward and gets approved.

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett says she was contacted by the now-NDP Ministry of Agriculture as a result of all the efforts she had gone to in order to gain this abattoir for her community three years ago.

“The ministry contacted me on Thursday [Jan. 4] out of respect for us, for the people that live here, which I appreciated because they know how hard I worked to get that abattoir and how passionate we are.

“Apparently, they went out on BC Bid to see if anybody in the South Cariboo was interested, and they received no response.”

All of Findlay’s existing regular clients were notified about the recent closure of its slaughter services well ahead of time, and their facility on Horse Lake Road near the eastern border of 100 Mile House still provides its cut-and-wrap services, she notes.

“Findlay Meats gave a year’s notice, and will continue on with their great butchering, as always.”

Meanwhile, the mobile abattoir sits there awaiting some operator’s interest, but only for a couple more weeks, and then it will be gone, Barnett explains.

“My message is, anybody in the South Cariboo who feels they would like to apply to the ministry to take over the abattoir, that is a portable abattoir, I have been given by the ministry until Jan. 29 for this to happen.”

Otherwise, the abattoir will be leaving the community, which would be “unfortunate,” she adds.

“They can call the ministry, or come in and talk to me. I suggest they come in and talk to me here [in 100 Mile House], and I will get them the proper contact within the ministry.”

Barnett says this chance and advance notice by the ministry is something she “appreciates, believe-you-me” because this licenced slaughter capacity is “such a valuable component” of the area, particularly to its agriculture producers.

While other local slaughter capacity is available at Rodear Meats at Big Lake, which is reopening, and at XH Buffalo Ranch (beef and buffalo only) at Green Lake, options are key to many who have specific needs or difficulties with transporting their live animals too far away from their own farm or ranch.

“People need choices. Talking to people who have come in here, they probably, unfortunately, will get out of the small-scale cattle business.”

Barnett says she hears these small producers say the longer the drive, the more stress on the animals, which can then lose weight and suffer other issues from the journey.

For more information, call MLA Donna Barnett at 250-395-3916, stop by her’s 100 Mile House office at 6-530 Horse Lake Road, or e-mail donna.barnett.mla@leg.bc.ca.

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