Q: Who operates LSS?
LSS is operated by the same group of knowledgeable individuals that performed the services prior to the transition from the provincial government to a non-profit in 2013. As part of the transition agreement, LSS staff were transferred across to the new organization to carry out LSS responsibilities. LSS is based out of its headquarters in Regina and has a province-wide network of 66 inspectors operating out of a variety of office locations, primarily auction markets. LSS operates under the authority of The Animal Products Act and The Animal Identification Act.
Q: Does LSS represent deregulation or privatization of government in Saskatchewan?
No. Livestock brand inspection services, which ensure animals offered for sale are rightfully owned and verified through a brand registry, have traditionally been provided in Saskatchewan through Ministry of Agriculture livestock inspectors. This government role was unique; no other agricultural commodity purchased or sold in Saskatchewan has a government service verifying ownership. Both Alberta and British Columbia have industry-delivered livestock brand inspection. Manitoba has no brand inspection.
Q: Who owns LSS? Who makes the decisions?
LSS is owned and operated by the five main livestock producer groups requiring inspection services. The groups governing LSS Corporation are the Saskatchewan Cattlemen's Association, Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association, Saskatchewan Cattle Feeders Association, Saskatchewan Horse Federation,and Livestock Marketers of Saskatchewan. LSS will work to provide more efficient brand inspection in the province.
Q: How does the transition of LSS from government to a non-profit affect me as a producer?
The goal of LSS and the Government of Saskatchewan was to achieve a seamless transition, virtually unnoticed by producers. In the short term, there have been no significant changes to service activities. In the longer term, the producer groups who own LSS will guide and direct the development of the organizational business plan which will address the changing needs of producers and the industry.
Q: Has the transition caused my fees to go up?
Fees will continue to be assessed on an ongoing basis as a normal course of business, as they have been. As a member owned non-profit, LSS will continue to manage its operations to rely on revenue generated from services provided to recover the costs associated with providing those services. No additional profit will be built in to the rates in the proposed structure.
Q: Does LSS still operate as an arm of the government?
No. The provincial government continues to be responsible for legislation governing livestock inspection. The authority to carry out the duties of the legislation was transferred to LSS on January 1, 2014. Ministry staff responsible for livestock inspection services were transferred to the new organization. The provincial government continues to work with LSS to ensure a smooth transition. Once the transition is complete, LSS will begin to operate independently without intervention on behalf of its membership.