Glenn Black of Providence Bay, Manitoulin Island, has filed formal complaints about the chicken industry’s abuse of antimicrobials.
He has filed his complaints with the Chicken Farmers of Ontario marketing board, with the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Council, with Ontario Agriculture Minister Jeff Leal, federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose, federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and a number of reporters.
He says large-volume chicken farmers increase the public’s risks from bacterial infections because they increase the incidence of antibiotic resistance.
He recommends the marketing boards be required to implement 10 recommendations:
1. Expressly require prudent and reasonable actions by all Boards and others who are created or regulated, including the quota-bearing SM farmers;
2. Expressly imposes a duty on all parties who are created or regulated to always act in the best interest of the Canadian public;
3. Expressly impose a duty for all parties who are created or regulated to consider the Precautionary Principle prior to all decisions, and periodically consider it for all duties; and apply those Precautionary Principle when it is prudent to do so;
4. Expressly legislate that all parties who are created or regulated have no immunity, and have civil liability for their criminal acts, bad faith, negligence, and their other tortious actions and inactions;
5. Expressly legislate that the Officers, and Directors of all Boards who are created or regulated have unlimited personally liable for their criminal, bad faith or negligent actions and inactions that they personally do, and are done by their organization with their knowledge and their approval or acquiescence while they hold their position;
6. Expressly regulate civil and/or quasi-criminal penalties for non-compliance or breach of these fiduciary duties and/or the regulations.
7. Expressly regulate mandatory planning and implementation of regular internal quality and risk auditing by competent, objective, and unbiased auditors for compliance and effectiveness; and external auditing by competent, objective, and unbiased third party quality & risk management auditors at least annually; require timely remedial actions to prevent, contain, mitigate, and remedy non-compliances and significant risks; and re-auditing of all remedial actions to ensure they are completed in a timely manner, and are effective.
8. Expressly regulate that any fine, liabilities, penalties or damage awards owed or paid cannot be reimbursed by the public purse; nor can an individual be reimbursed by their organization for any fine, liabilities, penalties or damage awards owed or paid by the individual; nor can any fine, liabilities, penalties or damage awards owed or paid be considered as a valid cost in calculating COP (Cost of Production), reasonable profit, overhead, levies, or other fee that gets passed on to downstream customers or retail consumers;
9. Expressly regulate that any interested party can complain and/or appeal against the actions and/or inactions on these 10 issues by all parties who are created or regulated;
10. Expressly regulate mandatory pro-active and ongoing disclosure in a comprehensive and timely manner by all parties who are created or regulated, so as to be fully open, transparent, and accountable; including but not limited to the internal and external quality & risk management audits.
In response to recent outbreaks of avian influenza, he recommends that the marketing board step up biosecurity by requiring a number of things, including screens over all barn openings and ventilation filters to prevent the escape of particles carrying viruses.