Readers — It’s not often Free-Range Kids meets Free-Range Chickens but they do in today’s post, which comes to us from the CBC — Canada’s NPR, if you will:
The owners of a farm in east-central Saskatchewan say they’re shocked they are being investigated by the province after it received a complaint about minors working in the family’s processing business.
“I was flabbergasted,” Janeen Covlin told CBC News about the investigation by the Occupational Health and Safety Division (OHS). “Our whole farm vision was to include our kids.”
Cool Springs Ranch and Butchery raises, butchers and sells free-range chickens.
The Covlins’ eldest children Kate, 10, and Emma, 8, are involved in every step of the operation, from pasture to fork.
Farm kids in traditional farming operations are exempt from most labour laws in Saskatchewan, excluding basic prohibitions from operating motorized farm equipment and handling dangerous chemicals.
However, Covlin said the OHS officer informed her that her children cannot work inside the family’s small poultry processing plant.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act prohibits workers under the age of 16 from working in a meat, fish or poultry production facility.
“To us, the processing plant is just one middle step in our whole chain from the farmer to the consumer, and the children are involved in every part of it,” Covlin said.
Yeah, yeah, tell it to the judge. In today’s society, children are ornamental — that’s why we have to bubble-wrap them, like Hummel figurines. Those kids shouldn’t encounter real, live chickens. Better they should care for Angry Birds. – L.