September 16, 2010
BIOSECURITY ASSESSMENT FUNDING STILL AVAILABLE FOR MANITOBA BEEF PRODUCERS
More than 150 Manitoba beef producers have already taken advantage of federal-provincial funding to support their on-farm food safety, traceability and biosecurity strategies, and funding is still available, announced federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives Minister Stan Struthers today.
“Manitoba farmers have shown their commitment to ensuring the food they produce is safe to consumers and of the highest quality,” said Minister Ritz. “The Government of Canada is proud to partner with Manitoba to support this initiative which helps producers to continue producing safe, world-class beef.”
“Our government supports the work of Manitoba’s cattle industry to maintain and build on its reputation for producing safe, quality beef,” said Minister Struthers. “This funding helps bring producers and veterinarians together to review on-farm food safety and biosecurity and also helps with the promotion and implementation of the Verified Beef Production program.”
Beef producers have their choice of the veterinarian consultant they use, as long as the consultant has received training in the risk assessment program and reporting requirements through the Manitoba Veterinary Medicine Association.
Verified Beef Production is Canada's on-farm food safety program that establishes standard operating procedures designed to reduce or eliminate the possibility of a food safety concern on a beef cattle operation. These include the areas of animal health management, feed and water, cattle shipping, pesticide control and manure management, and training and communication.
Through the Beef Herd Biosecurity Assessment program, producers are eligible for two herd visits from a consulting veterinarian, a minimum of nine months apart. The consultations can help producers expand their knowledge about:
· On-farm Food Safety:
- using proper treatment protocols for specific diseases,
- following labels and prescriptions including withdrawal times, and
- monitoring animal health effectively.
- reducing herd exposure to disease,
- improving herd health and immunity to disease, and
- improving risk management of animal diseases.
- improving identification of animals on farms;
- developing mechanisms to record livestock movements; and
- identifying and registering livestock premises with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives.
The Beef Steering Committee, established by the Growing Forward Food Safety Program, recommended this program. The committee supports food safety, biosecurity and/or traceability programs by recommending actions and programs that increase the use of food safety programs in the beef industry as it competes in world markets.
Information on the Beef Herd Biosecurity Assessment program is available from members of the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives GO offices.
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