The Case of the Nova Scotia Turkey Marketing Board & the Free Range Lie

store bought free range poultryYou may be one of those increasingly conscientious omnivores who believes that even livestock animals should be treated well, and thus be given outdoor pasturage in meadows and forests.  You may be one those increasingly nutrition-conscious eaters who understands that livestock raised on open pasture, with access to natural foods and room to roam, forage and exercise, produces far superior meat, significantly higher in nutrition, better in taste and lower in undesirable qualities such as saturated fats.  Like me, maybe you’re a bit of both.  And so I believe you will be as amazed as I was to learn the real truth about the Turkey Marketing Board’s so called “free range” turkeys, and as you come to understand it, I believe it will also come to clarify why the Nova Scotia Turkey Marketing Board (which many small farmers are starting to simply call the Turkey Cartel) has become so incensed with small farmers that this year they have made a concerted effort to erase them from the market by trying to force them to sign contracts stating they would not sell or give away turkeys (by the way, there is no such reg or law on the books anywhere in Nova Scotia that I and many others have been able to find).

Real free ranging looks like this.  Livestock have abundant space and open access to air, water and forage.  They are not concentrated so densely they destroy a region's biodiversity nor suffer greatly increased risk of infection.

Real free ranging looks like this. Livestock have abundant space and open access to air, water and forage. They are not concentrated so densely they destroy a region’s biodiversity nor suffer greatly increased risk of infection.

Common Sense Free Ranging

Ask the average person what free-ranging is and he/she will tell you it’s when a livestock animal is allowed to roam freely through meadow, pasture and forest, foraging and living close to the way its species would in their natural state.  It is expected that free range animals will have lots of space, get to see the sun, and especially exercise and get to live on the natural foods, such as seeds, sedges and grubs, and all that will allow them to develop better quality meat.  In fact, laboratory tests of free ranged livestock show they are higher in nutrition and much lower in the undesirable qualities such as LDL cholesterol for which many persons have come to shun meat.  (Just as an example, see this article on independent testing of free range vs. mega-farmed eggs.)  Indeed, the livestock from truly free ranged animals can be almost fat free and extraordinarily nutritious, and it is for that reason that at our own homestead, where we raise free range ducks, geese, turkeys, chickens, goats, and occasionally sheep, pigs or cattle, that we never worry about the quantity of meat we consume with our diets.

Free ranging according to the Nova Scotia Turkey Marketing Board looks more like this.  I see neither range, nor freedom, nor abundant space, nor biodiversity, nor natural feed nor water.

Free ranging according to the Nova Scotia Turkey Marketing Board looks more like this. I see neither range, nor freedom, nor abundant space, nor biodiversity, nor natural feed nor water.

Free Ranging According to the Nova Scotia Turkey Cartel

I have copied and pasted the regs that define free ranging according to the Nova Scotia Turkey Board.  I know it is boring reading, but please take a moment to read it.  I guarantee it is worth your while:

Clause 1(e) amended: N.S. Reg. 123/2010.

(ja) “free range turkey” means any one of a flock of any variety of turkey which

(i) is raised on a feed ration consisting solely of grains, vegetable products and necessary vitamins and minerals and containing no traces of rendered meat products or meat by-products, fish meal or fish by-products, antibiotics or other medication of any kind, including growth promoters,

(ii) has regular access to fresh air, sun, soil and green forage,

(iii) has been processed by a registered inspected processor.

Note that in the Turkey Marketing Board’s own words, there is no minimum standard of space for free range turkeys.  If you dig deeper into their standards, you discover a great deal more.  A source provided a copy of the printed standards for what the Nova Scotia Turkey Marketing Board calls “free range” turkeys.  It provides much more detail, and is provided below.  Again, more boring reading, but really, really worth the time, as you will learn that the TMB reduces “free range” to a meaningless term that is really more a marketing trick than anything else.  When you buy NS TMB produced turkeys, you aren’t accomplishing anything but paying a higher price for the meat.  There isn’t much difference between that turkey and NS TMB bird raised in ordinary circumstances.

Outdoor enclosures must be covered by a solid roof. The walls of outdoor enclosures must be of mesh or solid construction that will prevent contact by wild birds or other pests. If using mesh, the openings are not to exceed 2.5 cm (1 inch). Turkeys must be fed and watered in a covered area; and, any feed and water provided must be under solid roof to minimize the attraction of and prevent incidental contamination by wild birds or other pests. Water sources must be clean and sanitary. Turkeys are not to drink water form ponds, streams or any other type of surface water accessible by wild birds, unless such water is treated to ensure inactivation of possible virus. Forage is to be at a reasonable height so foraging is not impeded. Following six weeks of brooding the birds will have continuous access to the outdoors. Enclosures are kept free of all debris (e.g. fallen trees, branches), as this may provide sanctuary for rodents, insects, wild birds and animals.

So, reading the above, one must soon ask how is this free ranging at all?  The turkeys are kept under a roof, in an enclosure.  There is no minimum space allocated to each bird.  The site is groomed to remove natural materials such as fallen logs and brush.  They have no access to natural water sources.  Their “forage” is provided at “reasonable height”, and how exactly does that allow the birds to do what birds want to do, which is explore and scratch.  (Truth is, mega-farms don’t want the birds wandering and foraging and scratching.  That would be exercise.  They want them to put on weight as fast as possible so they can move them promptly to market.)  In fact, if you look back at the previous set of rules, the turkeys “free range” food consists “solely of grains, vegetable products and necessary vitamins and minerals”.  So, the free range turkeys according to the Nova Scotia Turkey Marketing Board, never actually go outside and never have access to natural water or natural food.  In fact, the only real difference between Turkey Marketing Board’s “free range” turkeys and non-free range turkeys is the latter can be given meat products, various chemicals and antibiotics.

Over and over, corporate and mega-farms have been caught creating ridiculous standards of free range and organic to capitalize on unsuspecting consumers.  In this photo, a mega-farm gave the chickens a packed run with some screened walls and claimed this was "free ranging".  You should click on the photo and read the attached article.

Over and over, corporate and mega-farms have been caught creating ridiculous standards of free range and organic to capitalize on unsuspecting consumers. In this photo, a mega-farm gave the chickens a packed run with some screened walls and claimed this was “free ranging”. You should click on the photo and read the attached article.

The Big Corporate Free Range/Organic Deception

Over the past decade or so, many big food corporations have come under fire for marketing their products as organic/free range using the most bizarre standards.  Their intent has not been to actually provide better quality food, but merely to take advantage of an unsuspecting, trusting public by capitalizing on the growing desire for wholesome food.  Not the least of which is meat companies all around North America have been caught red handed at claiming to raise organic, free range meat that in no way meats any reasonable standard for either.

Why is this important?  So many chemicals get introduced to our bodies with the excuse of It’s essential for agriculture, or It’s to keep your food safe.  It is well established that corporate farms’ bottom line is the almighty dollar, not food quality for consumers.  To that end, countless deceptions about both produce quality and meat quality are frequently launched and sanctioned.  The Environmental Working Group recently posted a study of toxins in some common foods.  They found:

  • Every sample of imported nectarines and 99 percent of apple samples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
  • The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other food.
  • A single grape sample contained 15 pesticides. Single samples of celery, cherry tomatoes, imported snap peas and strawberries showed 13 different pesticides apiece.

And that’s just in produce.  Mega-farm raised meat animals tend to be raised and butchered in close confines that greatly increase opportunities for pathogenic infection and spread and huge quantities of dangerous chemicals are used on that meat (i.e., growth hormones which are carcinogenic and heavy prophylactic use of antibiotics to prevent them dying in droves in such stressful conditions).  It is unknown how all these chemicals may recombine within the human body but medical researchers are finding increasing evidence that over the long-term they contribute to the massive rise of cancers, deadly allergies in children and the increasing appearance of neurodevelopmental disorders.  Consumers should be concerned about where and how their food is produced.  Quantity does not justify lowered quality.

Why the NS TMB Is Attacking Nova Scotia’s Small Farmers

I believe it is really no mystery.  There are 19 turkey mega-farms in Nova Scotia.  They are part of and essentially run the Turkey Marketing Board.  Between them, they raise about a quarter million turkeys each.  The logistics of managing that much livestock is impossible in true free range standards.  They simply do not possess manpower to give those turkeys adequate field and forest for true free range pasturage, and such numbers concentrated into their relatively small areas would quickly denude the land they would use.  Small farms, which in in Nova Scotia typically means traditional family holdings of between 10 and a couple hundred acres, can manage true free ranging by keeping small flocks of a few dozen to a few hundred birds.  The flocks are spread out on a great deal of acreage over the entire province.  Small farmers can offer the public real free ranged, organic turkeys.  This is something that threatens the Turkey Cartel; something they cannot allow.  So, in 2014 they launched a campaign to prohibit small farmers from selling any turkeys (or even giving them away to family members).  And mind you, there is no law supporting their actions.  They have acted unilaterally in alliance with Keith Colwell, NS Minister of Agriculture.  (As a note, countless small farmers have been attempting to contact Keith Colwell regarding the issue.  His office has systematically refused to answer their inquiries and deleted them from his FaceBook page.  Keith Colwell has been acting in secrecy without consultation or regard for Nova Scotia’s numerous small farmers.  If you want to read some of the commentary about how Colwell has been ignoring his constituents, just look up the FaceBook group, Farming In the Maritimes, which is a major venue of communication between Nova Scotia’s thousands of small farmers.)

The bottom line is small farmers can manage something the Turkey Marketing Board cannot, and the TMB really, really doesn’t want the public to know about it.  Thousands of small farmers working together could supply the public with millions of humanely raised, truly organic, free ranged and healthy turkeys that would exceed what the TMB can manage in quality in every way.  The TMB feels threatened by this, so they are trying to close off any public access to their products.  Like all monopolies, they will willingly sacrifice quality in order to maintain a stranglehold on the market.

Personal Experiences

Over the last week I have been hounded by several persons by way of cyberspace who have dogged my articles, though two especially stand out.  One steadfastly claimed I was unqualified and my articles were poorly researched.  The other steadfastly upheld the rightness of the TMB’s actions.  It turned out the former was a Liberal Party supporter (I assert again, I have and want no party affiliation), and the other turned out to be applying to register with the Turkey Marketing Board.  Thus, both had vested interests in Colwell and the TMB’s agendas.

But more importantly than that, I live on a large homestead in the backwoods of Nova Scotia.  I grew up on a farm in the bayous of Louisiana, and my wife and I spent a third of our lives in the wilds of Alaska.  We have experienced what real food tastes like all our lives and I have to be honest, what the big mega-farms offer in comparison is poor.  Every year we raise our own birds: ducks, geese, chickens and turkeys.  Our free ranged birds have rich tastes and the meat has a denser, healthier aspect.  It is not wan and pale, as is the case with so much mega-farmed raised meat.  There is little fat in the meat.  The texture is a little tougher (though not tough) as is the case with livestock that gets to exercise, but the taste is full, pleasant and rich.  We and our kids eat as much as we want without concern for chemicals or cholesterol, which is not the case with mega-farmed meat.  Small farming can change the way we all eat.  I sincerely believe many small farms can provide the world as much food of far superior quality than a handful of mega-farms.

And that, my readers, is why I believe the Nova Scotia Turkey Marketing Board feels threatened by small farmers, enough that they feel they need to try to eliminate their ability to produce turkey for you entirely.

The question is, what will you do about it?

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Farm Confessional: What Butchering Your Animals Really Feels Like

slaughterheroThis article, by Katherine Dunn, is one of the best, most humane and honest articles I have ever read on the topic of coping with butchering livestock. I think those of us in the West are largely alienated from the balance of life and death, and how each is integral to the other. It is a good topic to ponder come Samhain.  Click the photo to go to the article:

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Buying Nova Scotia-raised turkeys at a grocery store ensures you are giving money to the turkey marketing board which consists of 19 industrial mega-farmers trying to outlaw anyone else in the province from raising their own turkeys.  It also ensures your turkeys are raised in the most inhumane and unhealthy ways, and butchered under equally poor conditions.

Buying Nova Scotia-raised turkeys at a grocery store ensures you are giving money to the turkey marketing board which consists of 19 industrial mega-farms trying to outlaw anyone else in the province from raising their own turkeys. It also ensures your turkeys are raised in the most inhumane and unhealthy ways, and butchered under equally poor conditions.

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The Petition for Food Sovereignty

For those of you have been asking where is the petition, here it is in the format of a downloadable jpeg file.  Feel free to print it up and post it for other concerned citizens to sign.

free food petition

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Local Food & Farms Under Attack as NS Liberal Government Sides With Monopolies

To see the article in the Cape Breton Independent, click the image.

To see the article in the Cape Breton Independent, click the image.

EVERYONE IN NOVA SCOTIA, and in the Maritime Provinces, and in Canada–if you want access to fresh wholesome foods, if you don’t believe the government should be handing out monopolies to industrial farms and actively working to shutdown small, local farmers and food sellers, then you need to respond to this, sign the petition and let the useless Nova Scotia government know you’ve had enough.

Liberal government of NS: I suggest you pay attention because if you don’t, as the NDP discovered last election, you can easily be replaced. It’s time for the archaic Natural Products Act–which you’ve been twisting to kill small farms and enable self-serving monopolies like the Turkey Marketing Board–to be stricken. And you’re going to find more and more people siding against you if you keep pandering to big business instead of Nova Scotians. Just keep in mind, Premier McNeil, it only took a couple weeks to get 3000 signatures on this petition . Just imagine how many of us there are around the province and how significantly and how fast we can really mount pressure if you don’t act like you care.

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The Secret! Big Corporate Farms Press for More Monopolies

Under the watchword of "safety", government and corporate farms seeking monopolies, would have you believe the small farming that has been safely, sustainable feeding the human species for thousands of years is suddenly dangerous to your health.

Under the watchword of “safety”, government and corporate farms seeking monopolies would have you believe the small farming that has been safely, sustainable feeding the human species for thousands of years is suddenly dangerous to your health.

When one is a small farmer, or even if one just shops for humanely raised and wholesomely grown meat and produce at local stores and farmers’ markets, one cannot avoid becoming aware of ever mounting pressure on small farmers and market gardeners. The buzz word for this pressure is “safety”. Under the guise of wanting to make you “safe”, government just wants to force all your food to go through “official inspections”, often meaning it has to pass through gigantic butchering and processing facilities, before you can have it. Apparently, the same home grown meat, eggs, cheese and produce that humans have been thriving on for thousands upon thousands of years are suddenly unsafe unless they pass through costly inspections and processing.

The real reason for this pressure is not safety, however. That is the conman’s word of the day. The real reason is to make it ungainly and over expensive for small farmers. Corporate farms want monopolies in the same way network television wanted the airwaves (anyone remember the airwave battles back when FOX became a network, then followed by the cable channels?). Basically, the big three networks wanted to limit the playing field as much as possible. In the case of farming, safety is the word to trick the unwitting public. The real reason for these mandates is $$$. Plain and simple. For example, the Nova Scotia Turkey Marketing Board has only 19 major farm producers (if you can think of cruel, unsustainable battery husbandry as farming). Between them they produce some 4.5 million turkeys per year, with a market value of some $135 million dollars, and that’s not pocket change! The Turkey Board, pretending interest in public safety, this year has launched a direct attack against every small turkey farmer in the province, claiming they own all turkeys, have rights to all turkeys and no one can possibly safely sell or butcher a turkey but them. The excuse is “safety”. The real reason is market monopoly.

Just one more story of big corporate farming monopolies, this one about the Poultry Marketing Board of PEI.

Just one more story of big corporate farming monopolies, this one about the Poultry Marketing Board of PEI.

I don’t even raise turkeys, and if I did, I sure wouldn’t give a rat’s ass what the marketing board thought or did. I’d have no intention of abiding it, because unjust laws are meant to be broken. But the reason I have gotten so involved in the fight for food freedom lately is ever mounting pressure by Maritime governments to pander to big corporate farming demands. Mark my word, if the Turkey Board does this unchallenged, other boards will come into being and attempt to limit small farmers’ ability to raise chickens, beef, potatoes, corn, and it will continue to expand as government legalizes new monopolies.

If you think this is “small potatoes”, let me cite the Gillete Corporation. That’s right, the maker of razors for shaving. Long ago when that company was created, many investors shunned it. After all, how could a company turn big bucks selling something so inexpensive and innocuous as razors? What those investors failed to realize is about everyone needs to shave now and then, and since old razors wore out, new ones would have to be bought. That would create constant and assured cash flow for Gillette. And thus a simple business grew into a mega-corporation. The same applies to food. Everyone has to eat, and lots of small cash flow turns very quickly into lots of cash.  Monsanto understands this. Dupont understands this. Maple Leaf understands this. The NS Turkey Marketing Board understands this. And if you want to be able to grow your own food, or buy it from local, wholesome sources, you better understand this, too, and stand for your local small farmer and market gardener, and right now!

(Just one more story of big corporate farming monopolies, this one about the Poultry Marketing Board of PEI.: http://www.theguardian.pe.ca/News/Local/2011-06-20/article-2596296/Feathers-ruffled-by-egg-regulations/1 )

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More Recent News On Nova Scotia’s Fight for Food Sovereignty

<<Lohr to Colwell: Come clean on allowing Nova Scotians to butcher their own poultry>>

HALIFAX, NS –As Thanksgiving approaches, Progressive Conservative Agriculture critic, John Lohr, says Liberal Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell needs to come clean about his position on allowing Nova Scotians to butcher their own poultry on their own property.

When challenged during Question Period yesterday in the House of Assembly, the Minister said he would not ban Nova Scotians from slaughtering their own chickens and turkeys.
That differs from comments the Minister made in the media previously. When asked whether he would make it illegal for Nova Scotians to butcher their own poultry, the Minister said “we may have no choice.”

“Why did the Minister say one thing last week and the complete opposite this week?” Lohr asked. “Either he isn’t being forthright with rural Nova Scotians about his plan to make it illegal for them to butcher their own poultry or he does not have a grasp of this file, a file which is inflaming rural Nova Scotians. Either way, Nova Scotians should be alarmed by this kind of incompetence.”

Lohr says this is an attack on rural Nova Scotians way of life and it’s hard to trust the Minister of Agriculture when his story changes so frequently.

This isn’t the first time Minister Colwell has been taken to task for being unclear with Nova Scotians.
In July, the Minister required to clarify his statements after throwing the lobster industry into turmoil by arbitrarily announcing a five cent levy on product without industry consultation.

“Serious questions are being raised about the Minister’s understanding of the agricultural and fisheries sectors in Nova Scotia,” said Lohr. “Our economy is at a critical crossroads and our resource sectors need a competent Minister at the helm. The Minister is quickly losing the confidence of Nova Scotians.”

***   ***   ***

I am not a political person.  I make no secret that I consider most politicians inept and self-serving, at best.  But the conduct of Nova Scotia’s Liberals has caused me to lose interest in them both locally and federally.  I will never cast a vote for a Liberal in the nation of Canada, where they seem to espouse the worst of both the American Republicans and Democrats.

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Nova Scotia Government’s Two Sets of Standards

Today's photo of the Northern Pulp mill. Some days, the smoke is so thick you can't even see the mill. The current Liberal government of Nova Scotia could not care less. There's corporate rears to kiss, after all.

Today’s photo of the Northern Pulp mill. Some days, the smoke is so thick you can’t even see the mill. The current Liberal government of Nova Scotia could not care less. There are corporate rears to kiss, after all.

Examining the standards of Nova Scotia government is a study in contrasts.  Take the mill just outside the village of Pictou.  That mill has been violating UN health standards and sickening surrounding people for decades.  It is singularly responsible for numerous leaks of toxic waste into the Pictou’s bay and expels air pollution with some chemicals ranging thousands of times over the legal limit.  Its violations have effectively been ignored by Nova Scotia’s government (currently the Liberals), and despite current public outrage regarding the mill (now operated under the auspices of Northern Pulp, a subsidiary of an Asian pulp company that has repeatedly come to international attention for illegal deforestation and environmental atrocities), the mill continues to operate as our government shows no real interest in forcing a resolution that is actually for the health and benefit of Nova Scotians.

One of many hidden cuttings of old growth hardwood forest that I know of happening in out of the way places around Nova Scotia.  (Photo taken September, 2014.)

One of many hidden cuttings of old growth hardwood forest that I know of happening in out of the way places around Nova Scotia. (Photo taken September, 2014.)

This example could easily be extended to the many resource-based industries that go on around the province.  Nova Scotia government effectively allows forestry to police itself.  With only about 1% of old forest remaining, NS government continues to allow the cutting of old forest.  Mining companies have created tar ponds that are now decades old, and these still fester upon the land near communities and must be cleaned up at public expense.

Nova Scotia governments bought into the call center scandal a couple decades back.  You might be wondering why this was a scandal.  Because these are low paying, high stress jobs, and the wages are low enough that between government subsidies to attract call centers and the benefits that must be supplemented to their employees, NS taxpayers were coming out in the red for every call center employee.

Under the NDP, there was a $200 million guaranteed loan given to a foreign corporation to open an industrial wind turbine factory in New Glasgow despite mounting evidence that wind turbines were a dead end for green power generation as their output is not large on average, nor is it reliable.  Despite waning global interest in the things, NS funneled more taxpayer money to yet another lost cause.  And what happened to that mill?  It was effectively shutdown by that foreign corporation almost as soon as it got going.  Anyone but me wonder what happened to that investment money?

The bottom line is that NS governments have allowed big corporate to take advantage of Nova Scotians health, safety and finances for decades, and to do so virtually without consequence.  In the latest example of governmental incompetence and corruption, the Liberal government received a complaint against Gordon Fraser who runs a small, family-operated abattoir for local small farmers.  The complaint was almost certainly from the NS Turkey Marketing board which the government gave a monopoly over turkeys to some years ago.  The Turkey Board wanted to assure that they are the sole monopoly holder over turkeys in the province.

Anyway, Gordon’s been running his abattoir for decades.  His work has never made anyone sick, nor have his customers complained.  But on the basis of the turkey board’s complaint that someone could remotely, possibly get sick some day, the NS government could not move fast enough to shut him down.  Effectively, if Nova Scotians complain of big corporate misconduct, government doesn’t care.  But if big corporations complain, our government (this time the Liberals) only ask, “What would you like me to do, sir!”  And then off goes our government, goose-stepping to big corporate orders.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  Nova Scotia governments have two sets of law: one for big corporations and another for Nova Scotians.  The former basically gets an unlimited number of get out of jail cards.  The latter get to pay the piper.

We need better.

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It’s Time for the Nova Scotia Small Farm Federation

A pig flu spread through centralized feeding to millions of pigs around North America.  Click to see the CBC's article.

A pig flu spread through centralized feeding to millions of pigs around North America.  Click to see the CBC’s article.

Canadian and American farm and food agencies are funny things. Strongly driven to favor big corporations and centralization, they have pushed for decades the propaganda that centralizing how everything is grown is a good idea. And even though that push toward corporate centralization has resulted in hundreds of millions of pounds tainted meat, tomatoes with deadly E. coli, and many human deaths and illnesses over the last few decades, they still continue to insist it’s the best way. Yet, it is the antithesis of small, local farming which operates quietly, raising produce and feeding livestock in scattered ways from local resources so that organisms have minimal chance to share disease and contamination. Take the case of the pig flu that has killed millions of pigs in the USA and Canada over the last year. That was the result of centralizing pig feed sources. But in the small, local farm setting, what would have happened is a farmer, feeding his pigs from his own pastures and woods, may have noticed his pigs were getting sick and culled them–end of story. In fact, since this flu resulted from giving pigs feed laced with pig blood for protein, and small self-sustaining small farms use more natural feed sources, such as pasturage and woodlands, this mess would have been unlikely ever to start on a small farm.  Such a disaster as this can only happen because in the big corporate model millions of animals are raised in close confines on questionable, centralized and unnatural food sources.  In such circumstances, animals can be infected in a very short time, quickly creating an unstoppable landslide effect.

When your USDA or the Canadian CFIA insist all livestock and produce should be raised and produced in big, centralized conditions, it is only to cater to big corporate farming. The scientific evidence of the wisdom of this is pretty clear: it’s not a good thing.

But big corporate farming is the kind of agriculture Minister of Agriculture, Keith Colwell, envisions for Nova Scotia, and his motivation is no other than that age-old NS politician’s instinctive urge to suck up to big corporate, Nova Scotians be damned.

Since Nova Scotia’s all but useless politicians insist on sucking up to big corporate, I think it’s high time we Nova Scotians turn the table on them. It’s time to do more than just vote the last bunch of cons out only to be replaced by a new bunch of cons. It’s time we form a small farm federation, a legislating body for small farms, to ensure open entry of new small farmers, free competition, minimal government interference and impedance, protection from Nova Scotia’s numerous big corporate bullies, and protection of our traditional way of life. I am thinking the many thousands of small farms in Nova Scotia, united, would form a far larger and more powerful voting and policy-making body than any bullying special big corporate interest.

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A Call to Veterinarians for Facts

The CBC ran a recent article: Turkey Marketing Board defends decision against Gordon Fraser.  In it, they stated:

Ansems says food safety comes first. She says Fraser, or anyone, worried about the cost of that, should check with the provincial government about what’s required.

“That is one of the benefits of having an inspected process. It takes the bias out of the system. The expectation between customer and business owner has been removed from it. When it comes to food safety — there are no exceptions when it comes to the cost of food safety,” she says.

I’m calling this what it is: rhetoric and propaganda packaged to sound like selfless concern.

So, here’s the call:  The NS Turkey Marketing Board states that to butcher turkeys safely, they must be butchered separate from any other species of livestock, in a separate room with sinks, tables, cutting implements, etc.  So I am asking any veterinarian outside of Canada (to avoid bias) to give your professional opinion on whether it is necessary to butcher turkey’s from any other livestock to keep them safe from bacterial infection.  Or can poultry and indeed livestock animals of different species be butchered safely in the same area if the area is sanitized between operations?

Please forward this call to any veterinarians you may know.

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