Ranchers applaud return of local beef slaughter

Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick visits newly licensed Green Lake abattoir

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett

Local beef slaughter capacity has returned to the South Cariboo since a local buffalo ranch successfully expanded its licensing recently.

Elisabeth Karlen and her son, Rudy Karlen, own and operate XH Buffalo Ranch at South Green Lake.

The ranch now has all the required permits and “everything is finalized” for its abattoir to process cattle, Elisabeth says.

“We did only buffalo so far, and now we have a new license for beef cattle too.

“It’s now all done. The facility is perfect, the government is happy, the [CFIA] inspector is happy, and the brand inspector is happy.”

Adding more excitement at the family-run ranch, an illustrious guest visited the Karlens on Oct. 30, one of it’s first beef slaughter days.

Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick was on site for two hours listening to the Karlens, learning about the industry and discussing what stumbling blocks still exist, Elisabeth explains.

“He said: ‘I will talk to everybody, and at the end, I will see what we can do’. And I think that’s a good start,” says Elisabeth.

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett accompanied the new minister to the ranch, and says she commends him for taking the issue “very seriously.”

“He understands the issue, and by going around to different abattoirs in different areas, seeing the issues and meeting and talking to these people, and to ranchers, I feel we’ll get a resolution.”

Elisabeth says remaining obstacles include getting other local livestock slaughter capacity, such as for pork and lamb, as well as finding enough provincial inspectors and getting them on par with training.

Happily for Elisabeth and Rudy, an inspector has been found and assigned to their facility.

The inspector must be on site for each of the three days a week that the ranch facility slaughters buffalo, she explains, as well as on any days when beef is scheduled.

Once it’s provincially inspected on her ranch’s Class B licence, customers can legally sell their farm-raised meat to stores, restaurants and other retailers throughout B.C., she notes.

Prior to the XH Buffalo Ranch’s new licensing, local ranchers had no option but to transport live cattle two to three hours from 100 Mile House to the nearest abattoirs, at Barriere, Spokin Lake or in the Beaver Valley, for inspected slaughter.

Circle H Ranch owner Ann Armann, a Lone Butte-based producer, says “a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders” with the return of local beef slaughter.

“It makes a world of a difference to me having a beef slaughter facility in this area,” says Ann. “It relieves a lot of stress for me, as well as for the animals, not having to truck them over long distances.”

She notes while she still can’t take her lamb for local slaughter, those are much smaller animals and easier to transport than beef.

The facility may be able to implement other changes and apply to expand its licensing to slaughter other livestock in future, but Elisabeth says for now, it will remain restricted to beef/cattle and bison/buffalo.

This time of year it processes mainly buffalo, but she notes they will accept small beef orders for its wintertime slaughter days.

The Karlens welcome beef producers to call them at the family ranch with questions about its spring ramp up for handling more cattle. (Contacts are available online at www.xhbuffaloranch.com.)

Elisabeth adds her business made the licensing changes “step by step” by following all the extensive rules and regulations.

“It took quite a long time, but now it’s done, and everybody’s happy.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Lorne Doerkson (right) with his partner Shelley Wiese participated in an BC Liberals Caucus virtual oath ceremony Friday, Nov. 27. Doerkson was appointed opposition critic of rural development by interim leader Shirley Bond. (Photo submitted)
Cariboo Chilcotin MLA appointed rural development opposition critic

Newly-elected Lorne Doerkson said it will be an honour to work for all rural consituents

Yunesit’in Chief Lennon Solomon signs a memorandum of understanding with COS Insp. Len Butler. The five-year agreement was signed outside the Tsilhqot’in National Government in downtown Williams Lake on Nov. 30. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Yunesit’in Government, Conservation Officer Service team up to address illegal moose hunting

Protection of moose a key focus of recently signed memorandum of understanding

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

Clinton fire hall, date unknown. Photo credit: Submitted
Clinton Volunteer Fire Department seeks funding for gear, equipment

More equipment needed after successful recruitment drive.

Fireworks display provided a colourful and sizzling Halloween for area residents. (Ken Alexander photo)
Ken Alexander: Fireworks provides colourful Halloween

Seven young ladies brought great joy to the residents on Green Lake… Continue reading

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest weekend of COVID-19 pandemic with 46 deaths; more than 2,300 cases

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides COVID-19 update

Ash and Lisa Van carry a freshly cut Christmas tree while wearing personal protective masks at a Christmas Tree Farm in Egbert, Ontario, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Cole Burston
‘Everyone wants a tree and they want it now’: Christmas tree sales on pace for record

Anticipated demand for Christmas trees has sparked a rush by some to purchase more trees wholesale

Business groups have been advocating for years that local approvals for construction in B.C. are too long and restricted, and that B.C.’s outdates sales tax deter business investment. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents worried about COVID-19 deficit, business survey finds

Respondents support faster local approvals, value added tax

The first of two earthquakes near Alaska on the morning of Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, is shown in blue. (USGS)
No tsunami risk after two earthquakes near Alaska

Both earthquakes hit near the U.S. state on Dec. 1

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Paramedics register patients at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadians not worried other countries will get COVID-19 vaccine first: poll

Forty-one per cent of respondents say they want the vaccine to be mandatory for all Canadians

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Most Read