Brand inspection is not wanted in Manitoba. That was the consensus among cattle producers in Brandon over the weekend.

The controversial issue was up for discussion again at the 2010 Manitoba Beef Producers' Annual General Meeting.

In 2009, the association passed a resolution saying it would "lobby the provincial government for an active brand inspection to prevent the loss of cattle." Producers in several districts were unhappy with that decision. As a result, Districts 4, 7 and 10 all brought a resolution to the 2010 AGM saying the association should discontinue advocating for a brand inspection program.

After lengthy discussion, the new resolution was carried.

"It's a position that was well-debated throughout the year. We're happy to see the democratic process worked," says MBP president Jay Fox, who voted against new resolution. "We will follow what the members have told us. The pursuit for brand inspection will no longer happen."

Producers, including the MBP board of directors, were divided on the issue. Several current and former directors presented their opinions on why or why not brand inspection is needed.

Manitoba is the only prairie province without a brand inspection program. As a result, stolen cattle from Saskatchewan and Alberta are known to show up at auction marts in Manitoba. A brand inspection program would also give lenders some protection on their investment.

The majority of producers in attendance felt the risk of cattle theft is not great enough to warrant the costs associated with brand inspection. Former president Joe Bouchard argued it doesn't make sense to spend 1 million dollars on a program to fix a problem that only costs producers 50 thousand dollars a year.

~ Wednesday, November 10, 2010 ~