OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 8, 2013) - Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz today announced the release of a national biosecurity standard designed to protect bees from pests and disease.
The standard offers a consistent national approach to biosecurity and is applicable to bee operations of all types and sizes.
"Protecting bee health is important to safeguarding the bee industry and the Canadian agricultural industries that depend on it," said Minister Ritz. "The value of the honey and bee products industry is substantial, and many other valuable crops are reliant on pollination by bees. Canada has seen rapid growth in pollination-dependent crops such as fruits and vegetables. In fact, approximately $2 billion in agricultural products rely on bees."
"Healthy bees contribute to a healthy economy," said Minister Ritz.
"The development of a national bee biosecurity standard is the culmination of a cooperative effort on behalf of the Government of Canada, provincial governments and the industry," commented Rod Scarlett, Executive Director of the Canadian Honey Council. "It represents an important step in the growing awareness and contribution of the apicultural sector to Canadian agriculture."
The National Farm-Level Bee Biosecurity Standard was developed through a partnership with the honey bee, bumblebee and alfalfa leafcutting bee industries and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). It was developed in collaboration with producers, industry associations, academia, and provincial governments. Funding was provided by the Growing Forward policy initiative of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
To learn more about biosecurity, visit the CFIA's website at www.inspection.gc.ca/biosecurity.
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