SUMMERSIDE — The president of a meat-processing plant in Albany was fined $2,500 in provincial court Tuesday after pleading guilty to a charge under the federal Meat Inspection Act.
Prince County Courthouse.
Michael Joseph Nabuurs, president of Atlantic Beef Products Inc., was charged under section 14. (1), which states: no person shall obstruct or hinder, or make any false or misleading statement either orally or in writing to an inspector while the inspector is engaged in carrying out his duties or functions under this Act or the regulations.
An agreed statement of facts was detailed in court.
The incident happened on June 13, 2012, at the plant.
A Canadian Food Inspection Agency veterinarian was conducting a routine inspection when she observed an animal that was being unloaded from a truck limping and looked emaciated.
The veterinarian recommended to plant staff that the animal not go through the normal avenue for slaughter and be slaughtered in the barn area.
The plant’s hazard analysis and safety co-ordinator was brought in and, along with employees at the plant, disagreed with the inspector’s assessment.
That’s when Nabuurs told the veterinarian that slaughtering the animal in the barn was unnecessary, which prompted an argument that, at times, got heated and lasted several minutes.
The animal, despite the veterinarian’s recommendation, was slaughtered through the regular process. Afterwards, the inspector asked for the animal to be moved from that area. The carcass ended up not being condemned.
“Obviously the veterinarian was there to fulfill a purpose under the inspection act,” said Judge Jeff Lantz while sentencing Nabuurs. “(Nabuurs) was ignoring her directions. The consequences should be clear to him now.”
Lantz agreed with the joint sentence recommendation made by the Crown and defence, fining Nabuurs $2,500. He has 12 months to pay the amount.