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Grant to Manitoba Beef Producers to Monitor Bovine TB

24 April 2014

CANADA - The Canadian Government is to give a grant of C$297,000 to the Manitoba Beef Producers to improve the tools available for monitoring bovine tuberculosis in livestock in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area of Manitoba.

With this investment, Manitoba Beef Producers, which represents 8,000 producers across the province will work with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to enhance the scientific tools used to detect and eliminate the spread of this disease.

This will provide assurance to consumers and trading partners worldwide that Canada remains a top-quality producer of beef.

The tools and surveillance methods could also be used in other areas within Canada that are subject to similar recurring disease threats or that are facing new and emerging disease threats.

At the same time, the Government of Canada announced the renewal of Dr. Allan Preston's role as Manitoba's Bovine Tuberculosis Coordinator. Dr. Preston has been engaged since December 2012, in coordinating the tuberculosis eradication efforts in the Riding Mountain Eradication Area and will occupy this position until December 2014.

The investment is being made through the Assurance Systems stream of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's AgriMarketing Program, a five-year, $341-million initiative under Growing Forward 2.

“Our government is committed to safeguarding livestock health and this investment will support the beef sector in the monitoring and mitigating of diseases that affect animal health, ultimately leading to greater exports and increased profits for beef producers,” said Member of Parliament Robert Sopuck.

Heinz Reimer, President of Manitoba Beef Producers said: “Manitoba Beef Producers welcomes the federal government's support for this important research project. The Bovine Tuberculosis issue has exacted a heavy economic toll on Manitoba's beef industry. We believe this project – with its focus on factors such as on-farm risk assessments and surveillance – is crucial to moving toward a time when testing is no longer required on live cattle and the disease is ultimately eradicated.”

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