Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 29, 2005 20:54 ET

AAFC: Producers of Other Ruminants to Receive More than $21 Million in Immediate Assistance as Sector Strategy Continues


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: AGRICULTURE AND AGRI-FOOD CANADA

MARCH 29, 2005 - 20:54 ET

AAFC: Producers of Other Ruminants to Receive More
than $21 Million in Immediate Assistance as Sector
Strategy Continues

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - March 29, 2005) - Canada's producers
of other ruminants, including deer, elk, bison and sheep and goats, will
receive more than $21 million to help them deal with continuing cash
flow pressures and to continue to implement a strategy to reshape the
sector, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Andy Mitchell announced today.

The funding will be delivered through the $1 billion Farm Income Payment
Program.

Although benefits are being seen in the cattle sector as a result of the
launch of the Government of Canada's Repositioning the Livestock
Industry Strategy last September, the continued closure of many borders
to Canadian cattle and other ruminants is severely hurting producers.

"Most of the recent attention has been on our cattle producers but this
has also been a difficult time for producers of other ruminants who have
been caught up in the international response to BSE," said Minister
Mitchell. "The funding announced today will help address the immediate
issue of cash flow in this sector and allow us to continue to accelerate
the repositioning strategy and allow producers of other ruminants to get
back on their feet again."

"These have been extremely difficult years for sheep and other ruminant
producers and this money will help bring some liquidity to our sectors,"
said Jennifer Fleming of the Canadian Sheep Federation. "We look
forward to working with the federal and provincial governments to find
longer term solutions to income pressures."

The Farm Income Payment Program will begin delivering assistance in
April.

As part of the program producers of other ruminants will be eligible for
$4.3 million under the general payment.

In addition to this assistance ruminant producers, based on their
inventory as of December 23, 2003, will be eligible for direct per-head
payment. These are expected to be up to $14 for goats and sheep, up to
$68 for bison, up to $34 for elk and up to $17 for deer. These payments
complement previous programs announced by the provinces of Manitoba,
Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

The Government of Canada previously invested $1.9 million in developing
a tracking and tracing system for sheep, as well as developing disease
control for scrapie related to the sheep and goat sectors. The
Government of Canada will be consulting with the industry to develop
other transformative initiatives including market development.

Producers who participated in last year's Transitional Industry Support
Program will automatically receive payments. There is no need for these
producers to apply, as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada has the
necessary historical data required to calculate payments.

For the general payment, producers who did not participate in the
Transitional Industry Support Program and reported farming income for
2002 can apply by completing an application form reporting their
eligible net sales for 2002. For the direct payment, these producers
will need to have held eligible animals on December 23, 2003 and show
reported farming income for 2003.

A guide and application form will be available shortly on Agriculture
and Agri-Food Canada's website at www.agr.gc.ca, For more information,
call 1-866-367-8506.

Since BSE was discovered in Canada in 2003, federal, provincial and
territorial governments have provided more than $2.6 billion in
assistance to the cattle and ruminant sector.

For more information on the Farm Income Payment Program, visit
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Web site at www.agr.gc.ca or call
1-866-367-8506.

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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    Minister Mitchell's Office
    Elizabeth Whiting
    Press Secretary
    (613) 759-1059
    or
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa
    Media Relations
    (613) 759-7972 or (866) 345-7972 (Toll-free)