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Ont. cattle dealer fined for unlicensed dealing

An Ontario businessman best known for a notorious beef slaughter operation is out $15,000 for dealing cattle without a license.

Richard (Butch) Clare of Burford, Ont. was convicted at trial Oct. 9, along with two numbered Ontario companies, one of which operated under the name Butch Clare Livestock.

The Ontario Court of Justice in Brantford found that between July 16 and Sept. 29, 2007, Clare and the companies “engaged in business as livestock dealers without a licence, contrary to the (province’s) Livestock and Livestock Products Act.”

The charges against Clare and the companies followed an investigation by the provincial natural resources ministry.

Clare and the companies were found to have purchased 2,156 head of cattle from various licensed livestock dealers, worth about $1.35 million in all, the province said in a release Thursday.

Justice of the Peace Dan MacDonald on Jan. 11 sentenced Clare and the two companies to fines of $5,000 each plus a victim fine surcharge, for one count each. Clare and the two firms had each been charged with 10 other counts, for which MacDonald handed them suspended sentences.

According to the London Free Press on Friday, Clare is well known in the province’s cattle industry, especially so after he pled guilty in 2007 to practices at his Aylmer, Ont. slaughter plant that “caused a panic about the safety of meat in Ontario.”

Clare and Aylmer Meat Products had been fined $125,000 for selling meat unfit for human consumption. Specifically, the newspaper said, Clare had admitted the meat in question was uninspected and came from deadstock. The slaughter plant was shut down by regulators in 2003.

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