BLC shoots down proposed game farms

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Big Lakes County opposes any proposed plans to allow game farms in the province.
At its regular meeting Oct 26, council approved a recommendation to send a letter of support from the Alberta Fish and Game Association to the provincial government to oppose game farms.
The association is sending a letter to Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon and Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dree- shen asking the government to oppose any plans to allow game farms in the province.
Big Lakes agricultural advisory committee passed a recommendation at its meeting Oct. 15 to write a letter of support to the ministers, says a report from Brett Hawken, director of community and protective services.
At its meeting Sept. 9, council received a letter from the Alberta Elk Commission asking for a letter of support to allow licensed game farms.
The commission wonders why game farms are legal in other provinces like Saskatchewan, but not in Alberta, and why the commission believes licensed game farms would be good for the economy and creating jobs.
Big Lakes CAO Jordan Panasiuk received two letters from AFGA that did not make it in the official Sept 9 council package but were discussed at the council meeting.
One letter was sent to the provincial authorities and one addressed to rural municipalities.
“But both outlined similar concerns,” Hawken says.
The letters were sent out in response to the Alberta Elk Commission’s letter saying how the AFGA oppose the legalization of licensed game farms.
Two farmers new to council voiced their opposition to allow game farms.
Banana Belt – High Prairie East Councillor Tyler Airth spoke first.
“I don’t like the way both sides handled the situation,” Airth says.
“They need to review it more in depth before they make requests for letters of support.
“I support the Alberta Fish and Game Association’s position on conservation regarding harvest preserves,” adds Heart River – Salt Prairie Councillor Garrett Zahacy.
The AFGA is concerned game farms would introduce chronic wasting disease, spread other diseases and invasive species, and cause genetic contamination, as well as the disruption of wildlife movements and fragment habitat.

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