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Alberta Farm Animal Care ceases operation

Alberta Farm Animal Care ceases operation

The organization says it has been hit hard in recent months

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

An Alberta organization dedicated to ensuring livestock in the province were properly looked after has halted operations.

Alberta Farm Animal Care (AFAC), which local livestock producers founded in 1993 to promote responsible and humane animal care, announced its immediate closure on March 1 citing a lack of resources.

“AFAC has been hit hard in recent months, including a lack of government funding,” Merna Gisler, chair of AFAC, said in a statement. “This is by no means the conclusion we wished to see happen, but the Board feels this is the responsible action to follow.”

AFAC’s expenses have been in the red in recent years.

In its 2022 annual report, for example, the organization ran a deficit of $56,478.

The losses were “partially due to lack of government funding,” AFAC’s report says.

The organization’s work is funded primarily through membership dollars.

Throughout its 30-year history, AFAC has been involved with multiple initiatives to support the ag sector.

This includes the Livestock Emergency Trailers program.

These 18 trailers are equipped with the supplies needed to manage a livestock emergency like a cattle liner rollover, or a barn fire or collapse. The trailers are stationed in communities across the province.

AFAC also ran the ALERT Line.

This phone number, 1-800-506-2273, is available to producers who have questions or concerns about livestock.

In 2022, the line received 100 calls and assisted more than 2,700 animals.

The Alberta BEE Program helped teach people about beekeeping, and the Urban Hen provided Albertans with introductions into keeping backyard chickens.

AFAC is in the process of transitioning its resources and activities, including the ALERT Line, to other partners.

Members of Alberta’s ag community are sad to see the organization dissolve.

“That is a big loss for Alberta,” Ellen Goddard, an ag economist at the University of Alberta, said on X.

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