In the Northumberland Regional High School parking lot Monday evening, community members gathered to present a petition to MLA Karla MacFarlane asking for the turkey butchering operations of Gordon Fraser to be allowed to continue.
Fraser was forced to turn away his turkey business after a complaint from another turkey producer was lodged to the Nova Scotia Turkey Marketing Board.
The petition will head to the Legislature with MacFarlane when it resumes September 25th with even more than the 916 signatures that were on paper when presented Monday.
“They keep saying it’s a safety issue,” said MacFarlane, who then reminded that if you raise a turkey you are allowed to slaughter it yourself, which is not considered a safety issue.
“I’ve exhausted every level of government,” said MacFarlane who has been speaking with officials such as Elizabeth Crouse, the general manager of the Natural Products Marketing Council and ministers involved with the agriculture industry.
Fraser, who has been in the business for 36 years, is unimpressed by the timing of the matter. “I don’t know what to say, I never expected it,” he said.
He said that some of his customers are so loyal that they are refusing to go elsewhere to have their poultry dealt with.
“They’re needed in this area, these processing plants,” Fraser said. In the province there are currently only seven other turkey processing plants, with a majority located in the Valley.
A decent-size crowd gathered at the petition presentation to hear updates about the cause and share about the upcoming meeting that is scheduled for Tuesday, September 23 at the West River Fire Hall, at 7 p.m. The meeting is a call to action about the Fraser...