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Beef Industry Gets A 2-Year Transition Period For New Livestock Transport Regulations

The Canadian Cattlemen Association (CCA) met with MP’s in Ottawa this week to talk about issues of concern for the beef sector.
 
One key issue of concern for the industry has been new transport regulations that are set to come into effect February 2020.
 
The proposed new regulations would reduce the time in transport allowed for cattle from the current 48 hours to a maximum of 36 hours that cattle could go without feed, water and rest.
 
The industry has raised concerns over the lack of available facilities for off-loading the animals and the potential animal health risks that could occur with commingling of animals.
 
Livestock Transportation falls under the CCA’s Animal Health Care Committee which is co-chaired by Reg Schellenberg and Pat Hayes.
 
During the CCA’s Parliamentary Reception last night Agriculture Minister Marie Claude Bibeau announced that Ottawa will take another two years to determine appropriate livestock transport times for the beef industry.
 
Schellenberg says they are cautiously optimistic about the news.
 
“It's definitely been a team approach on behalf of CCA, our provincial organizations, livestock marketing associations, and every province has definitely participated. We're definitely happy to hear some flexibility, the challenge is we don't know the fine print, and I guess once that announcement comes out in detail that everybody will understand where we're at, but it looks like we've made some, some progress in a request for sure.”
 
Pat Hayes says the official terminology the Minister used Wednesday was moratorium, and they want to see exactly what that will mean, but they are pleased to see some flexibility on the issue.
 
Schellenberg says he’s waiting to see the details in writing adding we want to do this thing once and do it right.
 
“If we can have the actual transportation regs put on hold for two years, that gives industry, an opportunity to work together with government and to allow Beef Cattle Research Council the appropriate time to conduct that research project on timelines and offloading cap.”
 
In a release to the CCA office today the Minister of Agriculture Marie Claude Bibeau says we know our ranchers and farmers are committed to the welfare of animals, while fostering a high degree of public trust. 
 
“As of February 2020, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will bring into force improved Humane Transportation of Animals regulations, which had not been updated since the 1970’s.  However, we understand that the bovine sector requires more time to meet the new transportation requirements for feed, water, and rest.  That’s why the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is introducing a 2-year transition period for bovines, which will give time to gather more data on effective solutions concerning the transport of cattle, while ensuring the preparedness of the sector in Canada.”
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