The Manitoba government has announced a three-year extension of its program to help cover ranchers’ costs to gather animals for bovine tuberculosis (TB).
The provincial ag department said Thursday it will put up $468,000 over three years to support the tuberculosis mustering fee program, which has been in place for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 testing years.
“The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), as part of its three-year
plan, has announced that it will be testing 10,624 cattle in 131
herds,” Agriculture Minister Rosann Wowchuk said in a release.
“Livestock in areas believed to be at
greater-than-average risk for the disease must be tested more
frequently,” she said, “and the program will help ease related costs for our
producers by providing this payment of $6 per test to impacted
Manitoba Agricultural Services Corp. (MASC), the provincial production insurance and ag lending agency, will administer the mustering fee program, Wowchuk said.
CFIA has previously designated a portion of the Parkland region in the province’s agricultural northwest as the Riding Mountain TB Eradication Area
(RMEA). Cattle, bison and cervids in the area are generally
required to undergo TB testing at least once every three years.
The testing process is costly to producers both in time and lost
production and performance, the province said.
“A positive TB test result found recently in the eradication area
has made it necessary to test livestock more frequently to ensure
animal health,” Wowchuk said.
“While Manitoba has officially
regained its TB-free status, those producers in the RMEA continue
to face the inconvenience and additional costs associated with
maintaining that status for all Manitoba cattle producers.”