Today, David Anderson, Official Opposition Critic for Agriculture and Agri-Food, along with Conservative MPs Kevin Sorenson, Martin Shields and Glen Motz, called on the Minister of Agriculture, Lawrence MacAulay, to provide interim funding for feed to ranchers whose herds have been placed under quarantine by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) because of Bovine Tuberculosis (Bovine TB).
“Winter is here and many producers in Southeastern Alberta and Saskatchewan do not have the resources to feed their cattle. Many are wondering whether they will be compensated for the added expense of feeding their cattle all winter. Interim funding for these ranchers is absolutely critical,” said Mr. Sorenson.
“It is critical that cattle producers affected by Bovine TB receive appropriate support from their federal government, as they struggle to navigate these uncertain times. It is important that ranchers have confidence in the process as well as a timely and responsible way forward,” said Mr. Motz.
It is very disappointing that the Liberals refused to allow Canadian Food Inspection Agency officials to appear at the House of Commons Agriculture Committee today. Conservative Members continue to urge the Minister to encourage CFIA to allow the participation of local veterinarians in the TB testing process.
“Local veterinarians should be called in to help CFIA. Many ranchers cannot wait weeks for this process to be completed. There are many qualified veterinarians in my riding that could be working under the supervision of CFIA staff,” said Mr. Shields.
The Members’ letter to the Minister also calls for an expansion of CFIA’s emergency response team to include representation from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Health Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, trade officials, local cattlemen and representatives from the national cattle industry.
“A central command centre in Southeastern Alberta would give ranchers an opportunity to communicate their needs and receive detailed, timely and accurate information. I hope that the Minister takes our requests seriously and that ranchers and producers can return to normal life and business soon,” said Mr. Anderson.