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Optimism in the Canadian bison industry

Bison producers from across Canada are gathering in Regina for their annual convention.

The executive director of the Canadian Bison Association, Carl Flis says this year's theme is Change, Challenge and Opportunity.

"We've seen some steady growth over the last couple of years. Without a doubt, just like the beef industry, bison is not immune to various challenges, including high feed prices and a couple of years of drought conditions across the prairies. So, we might see a little bit of downsizing here this year, but overall, we're still optimistic as far as growth in the industry."

Stats from the last census in 2021 showed the bison population over the previous five years had increased by 25 per cent. So all told, the bison population in Canada is about 150,000 head. 

The majority of the bison are located in the province of Alberta at 65,000, followed by Saskatchewan at 53,000. 

He says the Canadian herd is managed by approximately 989 ranchers, which again was an increase of 1.4 per cent, with the average herd size increasing from 122 to 151.

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