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Owner/operator of a provincially licensed meat plant pleads guilty and fined $1,000 for moving animals without approval

Court Bulletin

Owner/operator of a provincially licensed meat plant pleads guilty and fined $1,000 for moving animals without approval

Convicted - Vito Greco (owner/operator of Little Britain Meat Packers)

Location - Little Britain, Ontario

Short Description of Offence - Removing any food animal from the premises of meat plant without the approval of a regional veterinarian per s. 62 (4) of O. Reg. 31/05.

Date of Offence - August 18, 2018

Date of Conviction - November 19, 2018

Penalty Imposed - $1,000 plus a Victim Fine Surcharge of $125 for a total amount of $1,125.

Background -

On August 16, 2018, 34 goats were delivered to and purchased by Vito Greco, the owner and operator of Little Britain Meat Packers. On August 20, 2018, during a pre-operational inspection of the meat plant by an Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Meat Hygiene Officer, it was found that the animals had been removed from the meat plant's barn without receiving permission from any of the ministry's Regional Veterinarians. The animals were eventually located by OMAFRA's Agriculture Investigators and found to be in good health.

Ontario is a leader in food safety and meat inspection. The province's Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001 and its regulations are part of Ontario's food safety system and contain high standards for the protection of consumers and the welfare of food animals.

Section 62 (4) of O. Reg. 31/05 of  the Food Safety and Quality Act states that the operator of a slaughter plant shall ensure that no person removes any food animal from the premises of the plant except in accordance with an approval given by a regional veterinarian under subsection 64(2) of the regulation.

Penalties for an individual convicted of a provincial offence under the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001 are set out by subsection 46 (1) of the Act. An individual convicted of an offence under the Act is liable to a fine of not more than $25,000 for a first conviction, a fine of not more than $50,000 for each subsequent conviction (for each day or part of a day on which the offence occurs or continues to occur), imprisonment for not more than two years or both a fine and imprisonment.

Penalties for a corporation convicted of a provincial offence under the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2001, are set out by subsection 46 (2) of the Act.  A corporation convicted of an offence under the Act is liable to a fine of not more than $100,000 for a first conviction, and a fine of not more than $200,000 for each subsequent conviction (for each day or part of a day on which the offence occurs or continues to occur).

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