April 16, 2007
FREDERICTON CNB) - The Government of Canada and the Province of New Brunswick are investing $3.8 million in the province's beef and dairy industries to help accelerate the elimination of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) from the Canadian cattle herd. The federal-provincial funding program will help the province's cattle sector comply with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's enhanced feed ban, which takes effect on July 12, 2007.
"New Brunswick has committed its share of funding, and is working with the federal government to facilitate industry's efforts in dealing with the disposal of specified risk material (SRM), including abattoir waste and deadstock," New Brunswick Agriculture and Aquaculture Minister Ronald Ouellette said. "This program will support the development of critical infrastructure, including incineration capacity and research into new and emerging technologies."
"The Government of Canada recognizes the tremendous efforts of our beef and cattle industries to ensure the safest and highest quality beef products," said Chuck Strahl, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board. "We are pleased to contribute funding to New Brunswick's program to assist industry in meeting the new regulatory requirement."
Today's funding announcement will assist New Brunswick's cattle industry in the removal of all SRM - tissues that can harbour BSE - from all animal feeds, pet foods and fertilizers. The program is supported through a 60:40 federal-provincial cost-sharing agreement.
The federal contribution of $2.3 million to New Brunswick is part of an $80 million commitment to SRM removal programs nationwide. Federal funding supplements the provincial contribution of $1.5 million.
The effective implementation of Canada's enhanced feed ban will ensure the protection of animal health, increase consumer confidence, and strengthen the cattle and beef industry's markets in Canada and abroad.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Background information follows. MEDIA CONTACTS: Alain Bryar, New Brunswick Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture, 506- 444-4218; Media Relations, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 613-759-7972; 1-866-345-7972; Conrad Bellehumeur, director of communications, Minister Strahl's office, 613-759-1059.
Canada-New Brunswick Specified Risk Material Disposal Funding Program
Why is the Government of Canada implementing the enhanced feed ban?
Canada's current feed ban has effectively limited the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) since being implemented in 1997. The enhanced feed ban is intended to further protect animal health, and will accelerate Canada's progress toward eradicating BSE from the national herd. Canada's actions are supported by an international team of animal health experts that reviewed the Canadian situation in 2003. Completing the feed ban requirement sends a message to the international trading community that Canada is committed to ensuring the highest quality and safest meat products possible for world trade.
What are specified risk materials?
Specified risk materials (SRM) are tissues that, in BSE-infected cattle, have been shown to contain the infective agent and transmit the disease. The following tissues are defined in Canadian regulation as SRM: skull, brain, trigeminal ganglia (nerves attached to the brain), eyes, tonsils, spinal cord, and dorsal root ganglia (nerves attached to the spinal cord) of cattle aged 30 months or older, and the distal ileum (part of the small intestine) of cattle of all ages.
What will the funding be used for?
Federal-provincial funding will be provided to a wide cross-section of industry to fund capital expenses for immediate and long-term infrastructure needs. Provincial funds will also be available to support SRM disposal at provincial abattoirs and support research into new and innovative ways to dispose of SRM.
Who is eligible for funding through this program?
Funding will be available to a wide cross-section of industry including the following groups:
More information on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's enhanced feed ban is available online. The CFIA news release on preliminary recommendation from World Organization for Animal Health regarding BSE in Canada is also available online.