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AAFC: $39.8 Million to Implement Enhanced Feed Ban in Alberta

12 March 2007

EDMONTON - The Government of Canada and the Alberta government are investing nearly $40 million in Alberta's beef industry to help accelerate the elimination of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) from Alberta's cattle herds. The Canada-Alberta funding program will help the province's cattle industry comply and adapt to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's enhanced feed ban, which takes effect on July 12, 2007.
"Canada's New Government recognizes the tremendous efforts of our beef and cattle industries to ensure the safest and highest quality beef products," said the Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board. "We are pleased to contribute funding to Alberta's program to assist industry in meeting the new regulatory requirement."

George Groeneveld, Minister of Alberta Agriculture and Food, said this program provides Alberta's cattle industry with the support it needs to follow the enhanced federal regulations. "We understand the importance animal health plays in expanding our international markets," said Groeneveld. "This funding allows Alberta's cattle industry to remain a strong supplier of safe, quality food products to the world market."

Today's funding announcement will assist Alberta's cattle industry in removing all specified risk material (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 $19.8 million federal contribution is part of an $80 million commitment to SRM removal programs nation-wide. The province of Alberta's contribution of $20 million went beyond initial funding commitments to offset adaptation costs for the cattle industry and for research into new and innovative technologies that effectively extract value from SRM.

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.

The deadline to apply for first infrastructure funding is Friday, March 16th, 2007. More information on the Program can be found at www.agric.gov.ab.ca/srm or by contacting Cody Cunningham at 403-340-7089.

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