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.


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

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

  1. Cancel (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 directions listed above.

After the March 29, 2016 decision, Asian hatching egg producers filed an appeal of BHEC's above process as well as pending decision. On August 16, 2016, BCFIRB dismissed this appeal as premature: W. Friesen, Skye Hi Farms Inc.,Casey Van Ginkel dba V3 Farms, Coastline & Bradner Farms (PDF).

On August 19, 2016, BHEC requested BCFIRB approves its proposal to exclude 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).

On September 15, 2016 BCFIRB notified BHEC that a supervisory panel was established to review the prior approval request. And that following the panel review an appropriate and transparent process would be established and communicated if needed to ensure necessary information for sound decision making:  Prior Approval Request Regarding Regulation of Specialty Hatching Egg Production (PDF).

Meanwhile, several appeals were filed regarding BHEC’s August 19 recommendations. A BCFIRB appeal panel deferred the appeals until the conclusion of the supervisory process: BHEC Appeals Deferred until 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, BHEC 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 recommendations to BCFIRB:

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

BCFIRB reviewed BHEC's recommendations and rationale and determined that it required further information. Following are BCFIRB letters as well as BHEC and stakeholder submissions:

On October 20, 2017, BHEC submitted its final reply to BCFIRB: Final Submission to BCFIRB (PDF).

On May 11, 2018, BCFIRB requested a meeting with BHEC to discuss outstanding questions regarding BHEC's recommendations and rationale: BCFIRB Request for Meeting on BHEC Recommendations (PDF).

On May 31, 2018 BCFIRB met with BHEC, following is a summary of the meeting: Panel Meeting with Commission on Recommendations (PDF)

BCFIRB will determine what, if any, further steps are necessary before issuing a final supervisory decision.

On June 26, 2018 legal representatives for several specialty hatching egg producers provided the following response to BCFIRB’s May 31, 2018 meeting with the Commission: Joint Letter to BCFIRB Specialty Producers (PDF);  Joint Letter to BCFIRB Specialty Producers Commission Memo (PDF)

On July 17, 2018 BCFIRB issued the final BHEC Specialty Regulation Decision (PDF).

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.


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.

Contact BCFIRB