Local vets will help producers meet specific European Union requirements
By Diego Flammini
Two Manitoba organizations are working together to help local farmers take advantage of a good relationship with Europe.
Manitoba Beef Producers and the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) will help cattle producers raise their herds to meet European consumers’ requirements.
“The CETA trade deal represents an opportunity to export about 50,000 tonnes of Canadian beef to Europe each year,” Tom Teichroeb, president of Manitoba Beef Producers, told Farms.com.
The products must meet certain criteria, however.
“One of the key demands from the EU is that producers and feedlot operators make sure the animals are hormone free or adhere to other EU standards,” Teichroeb said. “If a producer wants to explore the European market, they can contact the MVMA to be put in touch with a veterinarian who is certified under the CFIA’s Growth Enhancing Products (GEP) free Program.”
For an animal to fall under the GEP program, its production must follow 10 basic and mandatory components. And a CFIA-certified veterinarian must inspect the operations and fill out the required paperwork.
“The vets also need to help make sure any animals targeted for the EU are kept separate from animals for other markets,” Terry Whiting, manager of animal health and welfare with Manitoba Agriculture, told Farms.com.
A list of veterinarians who are certified under the GEP program is available on the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association website.
The more farmers who can receive the certification, the better for the industry, Teichroeb said.
“One of the challenges has always been to have enough veterinarians available to help producers raise their beef for the European market,” he said. “We are hoping more vets will receive their certifications through CFIA to make sure protocols are properly adhered to.”