Friday, April 10, 2015

Small Flock Exemption Q&A

Anna, a wanna-be Small Flocker has some questions, and isn't getting the answers from the Chicken Mafia.  Finally, she contacted somebody who cares and answers promptly to the best of their knowledge.  Here is Anna's question:
Good Morning,

I've been trying to email the Ontario Agricultural Ministry but they're not really getting back to me with a question I had and I was hoping that maybe you could help clarify.

 I know the limit if 300 meat chickens per farm per year, but my question is what qualifies as a 'farm'? Does this mean your are limited to 300 birds per farmer or individual adult, or per physical address? Can you have two separate operations leasing land on the same physical address with 300 birds each? (Taxes and operations completely separate) Or can I act as manager for 3 different farms at separate physical locations with 300 birds each?

Thanks so much for all of your help!

My understanding of the important & relevant parts of CFO's (Chicken Farmers of Ontario) Small Flock Regulation are as follows:

Section 1.f says:

“Premises” means  a  parcel  or  lot  of  real  property  as  identified  by  a Property Identification  Number or, in the absence thereof, by another legal description by lot and/or   parcel   number   or   similar legal description   or   by   other   appropriate description using metes and bounds coordinates including the buildings existing on such  real property upon  which  chicken  is  produced  and  from  which  chicken is marketed by a Small Flock Grower;

Section 1.j says:

“Small Flock Grower” means a person registered with the Board and permitted by the Board to produce and market no more than 300 chickens on an annual basis while being exempted from the requirement of being allotted a quota by the Board for the producing and marketing of chicken;

Section 8 says:

"No more than 300 chickens may be produced by the Small Flock Grower in each calendar year."

Section 9 says:

"Once a premises has been utilized for the production of chicken in accordance with this regulation in  a  calendar  year,  it  may  not  be used  again for  such  purpose  by  the Small Flock Grower or any other person until the following calendar year."

CFO are the ones who passed this regulation, and are the ones who define, interpret it, and if they so choose, lay charges under that regulation.  The Courts will then decide if CFO's interpretation is the correct one.  CFO decides if you will be hassled, so in the frustration factor, their opinion, whether dysfunctional or not, is important to understand.

Therefore there seems to be two (2) limitations:

  • the Small Flock Grower
  • the Premises used
Each Small Flock Grower is limited to 300 birds per year.  Each Premise is limited to 300 birds.  Since CFO controls their database, they can choose who and how a "person" is defined.

For example:

  1. A corporation is generally defined as a legal "person".  Does CFO follow this definition?  If you incorporate a company under Ontario law (eg. 123456 Ontario Ltd.) and you are the sole owner of that corporation, can that corporation have 300 birds/yr, and you personally have 300 birds/yr too if you and the corporation use separate premises?

  2. Under Ontario's Planning Act, real property lots adjacent to each other will automatically merge to one property when the ownersof the two lots are the same person.  That owner must get special permission to subsequently separate those lots back into two separate lots.  This doesn't happen if Lot 1 (adjacent to both Lot 1 and Lot 2) is owned by "Bill Smith", Lot 2 (adjacent to both Lot 1 and Lot 3) is owned by "Bill and Mary Smith", and Lot 3 (adjacent to both Lot 1 and 2) is owned by "Mary Smith"; whether or not Bill and Mary are spouses, brother & sister, or total strangers.  Can this legal concept be used for "Small Flock Grower" definition, and Premises ownership?
The answers to these specific situations for CFO and their Small Flock Regulation is unclear in the regulation.

CFO (Chicken Farmers of Ontario) are the ones who passed this regulation, and are the ones who define, interpret it, and if they so choose, lay charges under that regulation.  The Courts will then decide if CFO's interpretation is the correct one.

CFO decides if a Small Flocker will be hassled, so the Small Flocker's frustration factor is highly dependent upon the mindset of CFO, regardless of CFO being right or wrong.

That is a clear sign of arbitrary law, and bad regulation.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Off-topic commercial spam that's posted so as to help sell your wares will be deleted.

On-topic comments, where you behave yourself and play nicely, will remain posted; whether they are pro or con. Everybody needs to fully understand all points of view so that we can find a solution that encompasses everybody's concerns. Give it your best shot.

If you decide to post, your posting becomes part of the public record, and SFPFC has full rights to use it (or not) in any reasonable manner or medium that suits our purposes.

Before posting, please proofread, and correct as necessary. If you subsequently discover a need to fix your previous posting, make an additional posting that refers to the original posting, then set the record straight.