A woman in Krestova has been ordered to stop processing chickens.

Krestova senior in hot water over poultry regulations

A 65-year-old Krestova woman has been ordered by Interior Health to stop processing poultry without a licence.

A 65-year-old Krestova woman has been ordered by Interior Health to stop processing poultry without a licence.

Willow Carr was served with a prohibition order requiring her to stop handling other people’s birds — something she’s done for over 20 years said farmer Jim Ross.

Carr is nearing retirement and has been processing poultry since before regulations limited her livelihood. Ross has had the woman slaughter his turkeys and chickens for five years.

“She runs a clean shop and has done our birds for years,” he said. “Willow does a very nice job.”

Interior Health received a complaint about Carr’s operation and Manager of Environmental Health Kevin Touchet explained that the order was issued in light of public health concerns.

“We have an obligation to follow up on a complaint,” he said. “We’ve asked the operator to cease until such time that she can get licensed.”

While someone can slaughter their own animals for private use without certification, a licence is required to butcher on a commercial basis — when meat is for sale. It would also be allowable for a third party to slaughter chickens at the farm where they are raised.

“This allows for some flexibility,” said Touchet. “People who want to have more control over the slaughter portion of their own birds can do that if they want to handle it privately on their own property. Or get someone to come in and assist them with their own birds.”

Carr doesn’t butcher for commercial sale and is adamant about that. She’s fast, consistent and affordable, said Ross, which is likely why many in the Slocan Valley trust her and take advantage of her skill set.

Valley residents are upset that the woman is in trouble despite being a “stand-up agri-mentor for this community” who is nearing retirement, said one woman on the Facebook page Farm the Kootenays.

Many are rallying behind Carr as they want the freedom to seek out butchering services outside industry regulation. Ross said that laws aren’t about protection.

“They’re not really protecting me. How do they protect me?” he asked. “If I chose to use someone’s service, I personally take responsibility. I go in knowing those birds aren’t inspected but I also go in knowing my friends have been going there for years. That’s how I met Willow.”

Touchet explained laws exists to make sure that there is a minimum standard established for the slaughter of animals to ensure resulting food is safe to eat, he said.

“There are a lot of things that could go wrong if the animals are not properly slaughtered, potential for contamination, etcetera,” he said.

Penalties for breaking these laws vary greatly with up to $50,000 fines possible. In this instance, no fines or other enforcement were handed out because Carr was polite and cooperative with environmental health inspectors who visited her operation, said Touchet.

“We try and use the minimal level of enforcement we need for compliance,” he said. “When people are cooperating there really is no need to go to the full extent of the law.”

The manager of environmental health said there are licensed facilities available at a two-hour drive within the region.

Ross explained that Carr has decided to take her operation “portable” to honour commitments made this season but working this way isn’t her preferred method.

“This makes no sense at all,” he said. “Her operation, as it is, is going to be a lot more put together than if she loads everything into a trailer and drives it to someone’s place and sets up. Ultimately in the end, what is the difference? It’s a physical locality.”

After this season, Carr plans to retire.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Nelson climate strike packs downtown to demand action

An inter-generational crowd staged a ‘die-in’ as part of the global strike Friday

Nelson’s Cedar Grove Estates affordable housing site to receive $3.2 million in renos

The project was made public during the Nelson CARES annual general meeting

Kootenay Lake ferry to shut down Saturday afternoon

Service to resume Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m.

Mystery illness killing Kootenay bees

Samples being sent to laboratories for analysis

Woman stabbed in downtown Nelson

Victim is in hospital, suspect is in police custody

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Most Read