The beef industry in Nova Scotia will receive funding to help implement a program to improve animal health, farm safety and increase returns on investments.
“I challenged the industry to come forward with a program that would help meet their needs. I’m pleased to see what they came forward with,” said Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell, today, Nov. 22, at the meeting of the Maritime Beef Testing Station in Nappan, Cumberland Co.
The Nova Scotia Cattle Producers will receive $89,100 for the Safe Handling of Cattle Program. Industry will contribute about $130,000. There are about 450 registered cattle producers, and around 700 producers in total.
The Safe Handling of Cattle Program will be funded under Growing Forward 2, Building Industry Capacity, and cost shared 60-40 between the federal and provincial governments.
“Our government recognizes the importance of the Canadian beef industry in creating jobs and growing the economy,” said MP Scott Armstrong, on behalf of federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “This investment provides beef producers in Nova Scotia with the support they need to remain competitive while growing their business.”
The program will provide producers with up to 40 per cent of the cost, up to a maximum of $1,000 per application, of purchasing equipment that helps maximize the safety of cattle and handlers during transportation, and health procedures where the animal needs to be kept still. This equipment includes neck-extending head gates, cattle squeezes and crowding tubs.
“Adequate cattle-handling equipment reduces stress on animals as well as reduces the risk of producers being injured by an excited animal,” said Larry Weatherby, chair of the Nova Scotia Cattle Producers.
Mr. Weatherby also said the changes could help bring $30 to $40 more per head for some when they go to market.
Under Growing Forward 2, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the provincial government have committed $37 million over five years for programs that will benefit the local industry.