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Recommendations for developing an Ontario path forward for deadstock

A new report for Livestock Research Innovation Corporation (LRIC) has set forward a list of recommendations for managing on-farm livestock mortalities in Ontario. 

Topping the list is the establishment of a coordinating body to oversee deadstock management in the province, coupled with continued investment by both industry and government to support that organization’s activities.

The other recommendations suggest working with waste management companies on potential solutions, reviewing current regulations to ensure they are scientifically sound, and streamlining regulations related to deadstock across multiple government agencies. 

Ontario is a large and diverse province, meaning there is no single or simple solution for the industry that will work for all livestock commodities in all geographies. Deadstock, however, is a global issue and Ontario is hardly alone in grappling with how to best manage it from a One Health perspective in a way that protects human, animal and environmental health. 

“The livestock sector is a key pillar of Ontario’s economy, environment and food security, and solutions need to support livestock producers regardless of species or location,” says LRIC CEO Mike McMorris. “Deadstock has been a challenge for our industry for decades and we are hopeful that this report, coupled with the interest of stakeholders to work together, will help us achieve a longer-term solution.” 

The project was launched last year by LRIC with funding provided by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) in response to a request from Beef Farmers of Ontario, Ontario Sheep Farmers, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, Veal Farmers of Ontario, and the Ontario Federation of Agriculture for help in finding practical and sustainable solutions to the livestock mortality issue. 

Study lead Jennifer MacTavish consulted with approximately 70 individuals and organizations over the course of the project and completed an international scan as part of the research.  

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