The $74 million in new investments and assistance announced today
will help Ontario farmers reeling from the economic fallout of BSE
(mad cow disease) and other transition issues.
Ontario farmers will share $64 million, which will help to ease
the transition to a new generation of farm safety net programs.
An additional $10 million will go to support a new Cull Animal Strategy,
to help reduce the backlog of cull cows caused by the BSE related
closure of the U.S. border to Canadian livestock, and to develop new
markets for Canadian beef.
AGRICULTURAL POLICY FRAMEWORK
YEAR TWO TRANSITION FUNDING -- $64 MILLION
- The Agricultural Policy Framework, endorsed by federal, provincial
and territorial ministers of agriculture in 2002, brings together
five key elements - business risk management, environment, food
safety and quality, renewal and science and innovation in a single
platform. The framework is designed to help Canadian agriculture
maximize new opportunities at home and abroad by safeguarding and
enhancing the food safety and quality system in Canada through science
and environmentally sound agricultural practices.
- In 2002, the federal government announced federal transition funding
of $1.2 billion over two years as part of the APF strategy.
- In fulfilling Ontario's commitment to provide its 40 per cent
share of funding, the province delivered $72.5 million during the
first year, and is now delivering $64 million in year two.
- By the end of March, all eligible producers should receive their
portion of the transition funding, with more than 36,000 farmers
receiving an average payment of approximately $1,700.
- The $64 million is in addition to the $92.5 million the province
is providing to assist the livestock industry in dealing with the
effects of the BSE crisis.
ONTARIO CULL ANIMAL STRATEGY - $10 MILLION
- Due to the May 2003 closure of international borders to Canadian
cattle and other ruminants, Ontario is facing a growing backlog
of cull cattle on livestock farms. Culling animals from a herd,
due to age or decreased productivity, is a normal agricultural practice.
- Before the border closures, Ontario was shipping about 1,000 cull
cows, and as many as 1,000 dairy heifers per week to the United
States . The heifers now remain in Ontario's dairy herds and are
pushing up the number of Ontario's dairy cull rates.
- The Ontario Cull Animal Strategy will make $7 million available
to the owners of abattoirs to expand their operations and province's
capacity to slaughter cull animals. The funds will be distributed
through a competitive process to ensure that all interested parties
are provided access, in all areas of the province. Details are available
on the ministry's website.
- The remaining $3 million will be administered by the Ontario Cattlemen's
Association, and will be used to fund such things as developing
markets for and new products from cull animal meat, collecting unmarketable
cull cows, promoting animal welfare and improving animal identification.
Agricultural Policy Framework
Year Two Transition Funding Contact:
Ontario Cull Animal Strategy Contact:
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25 February 2004