2017 Review of Asian Hatching Egg Production Regulation

The purpose of this supervisory review is to determine the extent to which Asian hatching egg production should be regulated, beyond biosecurity, food safety and premises identification programs, to help fulfill sound marketing policy.

Background

There is an extensive history behind the process of establishing a strategic level of regulation for BC broiler hatching egg specialty production (Silkie, Taiwanese, and other Asian breeds). You can learn more about this history by reading the March 29, 2016 BCFIRB decision: Skye Hi Farms Inc & Casey Van Ginkel - Decision (PDF).

In this appeal decision, BCFIRB directed the BC Broiler Hatching Egg Commission (BHEC) to:

  1. Rescind its specialty regulations.
  2. Ensure specialty producers are in compliance with basic biosecurity requirements (including disease management and food safety).
  3. Conduct a transparent, inclusive, and informed process to determine the level of regulation, beyond basic biosecurity requirements, needed to achieve sound marketing policy objectives.

BHEC complied with BCFIRB's three directions (listed above), and on August 19, 2016 BHEC requested that BCFIRB approve BHEC’s proposal to exclude exempt Asian hatching egg production from regulation, with the exception of biosecurity, food safety, and premise identification requirements: Request for Prior Approval for the Exclusion Permit Program of the Asian Breeder Producers (PDF).

Prior to this, Asian hatching egg producers filed an appeal regarding BHEC's process and pending decision, which BCFIRB dismissed as premature on August 16, 2016: W. Friesen, Skye Hi Farms Inc.,Casey Van Ginkel dba V3 Farms, Coastline & Bradner Farms (PDF).

BCFIRB reviewed BHEC’s August 19, 2016 prior-approval request. On September 16, 2016, BCFIRB determined it would consider the request through a principles-based approach using the SAFETI principles: Strategic, Accountable, Fair, Effective, Transparent, and Inclusive: BHEC Appeals Referred to Supervisory Review Decision (PDF).

On October 19, 2016, a BCFIRB supervisory panel met with BHEC. All parties agreed that BHEC would address outstanding process and information gaps through a BCFIRB-approved process before the supervisory panel would make a decision on BHEC’s final request.

Following BCFIRB’s approval of BHEC’s Work Plan, BCFIRB suspended BHEC’s process given the resignation of BHEC’s Chair. On January 26, 2017, a new BHEC Chair was appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council and BHEC re-started its review process, outlined in the Review Process section below.

Review Process

The review process is divided into three phases.

Phase 1:  Consultation and Research

  • Stakeholder consultation questions posted and distributed on March 9, 2017
  • Stakeholder submissions deadline was March 23, 2017
  • Background information report and stakeholder input posted and sent to BCFIRB for review on April 18, 2017: Background Information and Documentation Update (PDF)

Note: In the report, BHEC provided further opportunity for stakeholder engagement through the addition of a stakeholder meeting to discuss options and an extension of the stakeholder responses deadline (see Phase 2 below).

Phase 2:  Options Development

  • On May 19, 2017, BHEC published a draft report with options to stakeholders and BCFIRB: Draft Pros and Cons Discussion Document – Review of Asian Breeder Regulation (PDF)
  • Face-to-face meetings were held to discuss options with stakeholders on May 30-31, 2017
  • Stakeholder responses were due to BHEC on June 5, 2017
  • BHEC reviewed all information to date and confirmed options-related issues/questions it considers outstanding on June 8, 2017, and communicated the outstanding issues/questions to stakeholders on June 9, 2017: Commission Outstanding Industry Questions (PDF)
  • Stakeholder responses are due June 16, 2017

Note: On June 2, 2017, the Commission sent a request to amend its process to account for new information. BCFIRB approved the amendments. The rationale and amendments are outlined in following documents and reflected in the bullets under Phases 2 and 3:

Phase 3:  Prior-Approval Assessment

On June 28, 2017, BHEC submitted its final recommendations to BCFIRB:

BCFIRB received letters from stakeholders seeking an opportunity to be heard directly by BCFIRB.

BCFIRB reviewed BHEC's recommendation and rationale and determined that it requires further information before it is prepared to issue a final supervisory decision regarding the regulation of Asian hatching egg production., as described within the following letter:

BCFIRB’s Responsibility

As required by the Natural Products Marketing (BC) Act, BCFIRB must find that BHEC’s recommendations are in accord with “sound marketing policy” and comply with governing legislation, regulation and agreements.

Contact

For more information about the process, please contact Stephanie Nelson, Executive Director, BC Broiler Hatching Egg Commission (Tel: 604-854-4487 or Email: Stephanie@bcbhec.com) or visit bcbhec.com.