The sheep industry in Nova Scotia will receive funding to help implement a program to control parasites and create safer handling systems.
The Sheep Producers Association of Nova Scotia will receive $29,700 for sheep handling and parasite control, Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell announced today, Dec. 22, at Dalhousie’s Agricultural Campus in Truro. Industry will contribute $44,550.
“After meeting with the Sheep Producers Association of Nova Scotia, I challenged them to come up with a program that would meet the needs of the industry,” said Mr. Colwell. “This program builds on the research that has been completed and enables industry to maintain healthier flocks for producing top quality products for Nova Scotians.”
There are more than 300 registered farmers raising sheep in Nova Scotia and the industry is worth about $1.6 million.
“Our government remains committed to investing in innovative projects that improve animal health,” said MP Scott Armstrong, on behalf of federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “Safe handling systems on sheep farms are good for the animals, good for our farmers and good for the industry.”
The Sheep Handling and Parasite Control Program will be funded under Growing Forward 2, Building Industry Capacity, and cost shared 60-40 between the federal and provincial governments.
The program will provide producers with up to 40 per cent of the cost, up to a maximum of $750 per application. It will fund gates and handling crates creating safer handling systems to improve monitoring and reduce stress on animals and producers. It will also help fund fences and handling equipment, reducing the risk of parasites affecting a flock.
“Through a project supported by government we were able to identify management options to improve health and welfare of the animals,” said Beth Densmore, president of the Sheep Producers Association of Nova Scotia. “Clean pastures are a must, especially for lambs. Rotational grazing helps keep animals healthy and by supporting the handling equipment, shepherds as well as sheep are under less stress.”
The application form for the Sheep Handling and Parasite Control Program is available at www.nssheep.ca/handling.