Aylmer Meat Packers Ltd. is suing the federal government over the seizure of beef at its plant in 2003.
Owner Richard (Butch) Claire pleaded guilty to charges laid after a raid at his plant on Aug. 21, 2003, identified deadstock being processed for sale to the public.
They also seized packaging with a federal stamp of approval from the defunct MGI Packers plant in Kitchener that Claire had purchased.
In its lawsuit, Aylmer Meats says the Canadian Food Inspection Agency took meat that was suitable for sale and failed to properly store it so it spoiled to the point that it could not even be used as pet food.
The federal government tried this summer to simply sweep the lawsuit away, but Justice Sandra Chapnik ruled that there are a number of allegations that need to be examined in a trial.
She did throw out a complaint that the CFIA and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources enforcers trespassed on the plant. She ruled that they had the necessary authority under provincial meat inspection regulations to raid the premises and to detain some meat.
What’s open to trial is how much meat they could detain and whether they had an obligation to provide better handling and storage so it would not lose its retail value.
In her decision, Chapnik wrote “these allegations raise conflicts to the evidence which require assessments of credibility and are genuine issues requiring a trial.”
So far no date has been set for that trial.