The government is promising up to $16.7 million for Alberta ranchers hit hard by the ongoing bovine tuberculosis outbreak.
Federal and provincial agriculture ministers announced on Wednesday they will be working with industry leaders in the coming days to ensure financial assistance is delivered quickly and efficiently.
The cash will go toward infrastructure, transportation, cleaning and disinfection as well as feed for the animals and any interest incurred from loans as a result of the quarantine.
Approximately 40 farms are under quarantine in southeast Alberta and southwest Saskatchewan. There have been six confirmed cases to date.
“We know that this is a difficult time for producers, who are facing financial challenges as a result of the bovine TB situation,” said Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier in a Wednesday news release. “The Government of Alberta recognizes the importance of our cattle industry to this province and this commitment is an important step in providing our producers with the support they need.”
The province says farmers can get immediate help through the advance payments program, which provides producers with cash advances of up to $400,000.
Ranchers may also be eligible for cash under the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) Health of Animals Act.