Third phase of cattle strategy unveiled

The following is a recent news release from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food:
On Aug. 29, 2003, Agriculture and Food minister Helen Johns announced the Ernie Eves government has introduced Phase 3 of its strategy designed to support the competitiveness of Ontario’s cattle industry as it struggles with the aftermath of a single incidence of BSE in an Alberta cow.
“I’m pleased to be able to tell Ontario’s cattle producers that, effective Sept. 6, we will provide a payment of up to $250 per head for Ontario-fed cattle sold for slaughter,” said Johns.
“This will help us achieve several goals—we’ll boost sales, increase the returns to our producers, and maintain our competitive position within Canada,” she added.
“Despite the fact that this is a national issue, the lack of federal leadership has led Alberta to take unilateral action that could put Ontario’s cattle industry at a severe disadvantage,” Johns noted.
“I will not allow that to happen.”
In addition to the payment per head slaughtered, the third phase of Ontario’s BSE Recovery Initiative will include an advance payment targeted at other cattle producers, such as cow-calf operators.
This will ease the pressure on farms and rural communities as the number of backlogged livestock increases in the months ahead.
To date, the Eves government has committed $35 million to the cost-shared Canada-Ontario BSE Recovery Program and a further $17.5 million to the Ontario BSE Recovery Initiative.
It is anticipated this third phase of the recovery initiative will result in another $30 million in assistance to Ontario’s cattle and ruminant livestock industry.
“I urge the federal government to do its part and provide its 60 percent share of Ontario’s second and third phases of this recovery initiative,” Johns said.
“Ottawa’s insistence that provinces must sign the Agricultural Policy Framework to be eligible for further cost-shared programs is short-changing Ontario’s farmers of more than $71 million.”
Watch for more details on this Phase 3 program.

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