Guelph, Ont. – The Beef Farmers of Ontario (BFO) applauds the Government of Canada’s commitment of $57.5 million over five years to fund a Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) vaccine bank, and support for the development of emergency response plans related to the devastating animal health disease. The funding was announced this afternoon during the release of Canada’s Budget 2023. BFO and our allies across the Canadian cattle sector had been calling on the federal government to invest in this critical response measure for the better part of the last two years, and are extremely pleased and appreciative of today’s announcement.
“While an FMD outbreak in Canada would be devastating to our sector, having a dedicated vaccine bank in place to ensure early vaccination and a robust response plan will help us control the spread of the disease, and protect our export markets and the livelihoods of farmers as much as possible,” says Jack Chaffe, BFO President.
In addition to the FMD commitment, Budget 2023 also promises to provide farmers with an increase to the interest-free limit for loans under the Advance Payments Program (APP) from $250,000 to $350,000 for the 2023/24 program year.
“The increase in the APP interest-free loan limits will provide Ontario beef farmers with access to additional competitive financing options that will help manage their production risks,” says Chaffe.“On behalf of our members, we would like to thank Minister Bibeau and the federal government for their commitment to increase limits for the 2023/24 program year. It is our hope that the increase in the interest-free portion of APP loans will be continued beyond 2023/24, something we’ve been actively advocating for in partnership with the Canadian Cattle Association.”
BFO would like to express our sincere thanks to the Government of Canada and the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, for these important commitments to support beef farmers and the livestock sector in Canada. In addition, BFO would like to recognize and thank the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister, The Honourable Lisa Thompson, for her continued advocacy and support of these requests at the federal-provincial-territorial table.
The Beef Farmers of Ontario represents 19,000 beef farmers in Ontario by advocating in the areas of sustainability, animal health and care, environment, food safety, and domestic and export market development. BFO’s vision is help foster a sustainable and profitable beef industry, and have Ontario beef recognized as an outstanding product by our consumers.Source : Ontario Beef