Castlegar, (the small City in the middle of British Columbia where we live) hasn’t so far taken to my idea of miniature goats, maybe I should up the ante with a further suggestion. Miniature Cows!

1193350499_c059e11f23_mIt seems like this is quite a popular thing in Britain, with websites offering “the world’s most efficient, cutest and tastiest cows”. These cows are not particularly cheap as a pet, but can produce up to 7 litres of milk a day, keep the grass short, and eventually can be slaughtered for excellent meat.

Just right for the garden: a mini-cow – Times Online

The Dexter, which is a mountain breed from Ireland, is perfect for cattle-keeping on a small scale, but other breeds are being artificially created to compete with it, including the Mini-Hereford and the Lowline Angus, which has been developed by the Australian government to stand no more than 39in high but produce 70% of the steak of a cow twice its size.

One of the big attractions of these small cows is the ability to raise your own organic milk and beef, particularly in these days of higher food prices.

Speaking Of Meat Regulations

“The government has no interest in where our food comes from or how it tastes, so it’s nice to set your own welfare and quality standards,”

This week, as a major Canadian packaged meat processing plant is shut down for listeriosis, I heard a quote from some official, (paraphrased), “This is what happens when we have centralized processing facilities distributing across the nation”. Combine this with the recent Meat Regulations in BC, and you have a government claiming the meat regulations are for public health safety, but now we rely on large facilities that, when something goes wrong, and it inevitably will, the effects can be catastrophic.

Allowing small scale urban farming is a logical step towards local sustainability and improved food security. Chickens, Goats and Cows in your yard?

Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.

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