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Crack Down on Backyard and Farm Fresh Eggs

Over the past month, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has embarked on a concentrated effort in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia, threatening area businesses with fines unless they remove their ungraded farm-fresh eggs from store shelves. Close to a dozen businesses that Deconstructing Dinner is aware of have received such a visit. This episode hears from a number of those businesses including comments on the issue from the BC Egg Marketing Board, the CFIA and the regional health authority Interior Health.

While the availability of eggs from local farms in the region has been significantly curtailed following this "crack" down on local eggs, the increasingly popular alternative to store-bought eggs (backyard eggs) is too being met with a crack down of its own. In December 2009, Nelson B.C. resident Monica Nissen was paid a visit by a local bylaw enforcement officer who demanded that Nissen remove her chickens from her backyard, or too face a fine and the possible confiscation of her birds. The City's bylaw enforcement officer was acting on two supposed complaints... and we say "supposed" because according to all of Nissen's immediate neighbours, none of them took issue with the chickens... leaving Nissen and Deconstructing Dinner wondering just what constitutes a valid complaint if it clearly didn't come from an immediate neighbour? We'll also be joined by Nelson city councillor Kim Charlesworth, who recounts the past year's efforts to revise the local bylaw that prohibits backyard chickens within city limits and we'll hear from Ian Fraser - a senior animal control officer for Victoria Animal Control Services - a city that does permit backyard chickens and hence, backyard eggs.

Join us for this important broadcast as we explore what Kootenay businesses and residents are calling an afront to food sovereignty following these latest efforts by local and federal authorities who appear determined to ensure that the only eggs easily accessible to Canadians are the factory-farmed options.