Spencerville area egg producer Shawn Carmichael has been staggered but he's still not out as he awaits his next day in court Aug. 29.
Carmichael is now stockpiling his production in refrigerated storage after been ordered by Ontario Superior Court to cease and desist processing and marketing some 4,000 eggs a day which he'd been selling to retailers in Ottawa and other locations.
"We can go until about November," Carmichael said of his financial situation. "After that, I'll probably have to quit the eggs and get another job."
On July 19, the Egg Farmers of Ontario marketing board and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which have been trying to close Carmichael's business for four months, were successful in winning temporary injunctions blocking any further operations by the renegade producer.
The agencies charge he's operating without quota and selling ungraded or improperly graded eggs. Neither claim has ever been proven in court.
While Justice Gordon Thomson granted Carmichael's request for an adjournment on grounds his lawyer Judith Wilcox was on holiday and unable to argue the merits of the case, he accepted the EFO/CFIA stand Carmichael's eggs could constitute a health risk.
Thomson agreed safety of the public is the first priority. However, he refused EFO's related request to remove the producer's flock of 5,000 laying hens.
Carmichael still worries the EFO could take another stab at confiscating his hens as it did in a March raid; he pledged that, should this occur, the Ontario Landowners Association will once again line up to defend his property.
He has ruled out an appeal on grounds there isn't time enough to resolve it before the Aug. 29 hearing into requests from the EFO/CFIA juggernaut for permanent injunctions.
The EFO has already laid a barrage of charges against Carmichael under the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Act. After a preliminary appearance, the charges - mostly related to producing eggs without quota - were remanded until Sept. 5.
Meanwhile, the CFIA cancelled the farmer's egg grading licence after postponing three requests for a hearing as permitted under its own regulations.