CFIA may pay to ship deadstock for testing

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is considering a plan to pay the costs for shipping cattle that die on a farm to test facilities, agency spokesman Marc Richard said.
“It’s an option we are looking at,” he said in an interview.
CFIA plans to boost its testing of older cattle for BSE up to 35,000 head a year from the current level of 8,000. It has noted in the past that some of the animals most likely to have BSE are the ones that die on the farm.
However, producers likely would bury or compost these cattle, especially since it costs them money to ship them for rendering.
To encourage producers to send dead animals for testing, CFIA is considering a plan to reimburse a farmer for the cost of collecting and delivering the carcass to an inspection facility.
CFIA wants to focus its BSE testing on downers, dead, disabled, and diseased cattle. An estimated one million dairy and beef cattle are still alive in Canada that were born before the 1997 ban on using ruminant protein in livestock feeds—the most likely source of BSE transmission.
CFIA says that because BSE is not contagious, it no longer will destroy all the cattle on a farm if one cow tests positive for BSE.
News reports from a veterinary meeting in Saskatchewan in mid-June said cattle producers soon would be compensated for animals that die or get sick on the farm.
The reports quoted Brian Evans, the CFIA’s chief veterinary officer, saying it would be the only way to get deadstock tested.
“Currently in animals that [farmers] see no value, it’s very difficult for them to justify having to pay to have a dead animal picked up or taken off the farm,” Evans told the CBC.
“So we are in the process now of trying to put in place a reimbursement program to offset those costs to the producer and make it less onerous on them.”
Richard stressed the proposal still was under consideration and he didn’t know when a decision on it might be made.
< *c>Dates to remember
•July 26—Emo Agricultural Research Station open house, 7 p.m.; and
•July 27—Rainy River District Soil and Crop tour, begins 9 a.m. at the Emo research station

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