Licence Term Lengthened For Alberta Butchers

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Come Jan. 1, 2010, provincially inspected meat plants and mobile butcher operations in Alberta will only have to renew their licenses every five years, up from one.

Provincial Agriculture Minister George Groeneveld last month put through an order-in-council amending the province’s meat inspection regulations, effective when license renewals are due in the new year.

The move is expected to reduce red tape, the province’s administrative costs and costs for licensed meat plants.

According to Cliff Munroe, director of regulatory services for Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development, the provincial treasury board annually canvasses the province’s regulatory agencies for this type of streamlining.

The move will have no effect on inspections at licensed facilities, he said, noting a license can still be suspended or withdrawn at any time if need be.

As well, a licensee will pay the same license fee just once every five years as he or she paid annually in previous years, as the province’s administrative costs involved will be similarly reduced, Munroe said.

The five-year spread was chosen to bring the license period in line with other provincial regulations relating to farming. As an example, Munroe cited an on-farm dugout or pond stocked with fish, which requires a license that a farmer renews every five years.

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