CANADA: Food fines uncollected
Posted: September 30th, 2010 - 3:51pm
Source: Postmedia News
The federal government routinely opts against slapping fines on companies that violate animal health rules during the transport of animals destined for slaughter -- and when penalties are issued, a quarter remain uncollected.
Between 2004-05 and 2009-10, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued 1,135 violations but only slapped a monetary penalty on 781 cases. After six years, one in four of these fines remain uncollected.
The others -- representing 31 per cent of cases -- were let off with a warning.
Many of these unpaid fines date back to 2004, the government admits in documentation introduced in the House of Commons in response to a question from Quebec Liberal MP Alexandra Mendes.
For example, of 189 financial penalties issued in 2004-05, 47 are still outstanding. Of 131 penalties issued the following year, 29 remain unpaid.
These penalties -- considered by CFIA a "flexible and cost-effective response to violations that do not warrant costly and lengthy court prosecution procedures but are serious enough to pose a risk to our country" -- usually range between $2,000 to $3,000, but can be as high as $6,000 per infraction.