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Grass Routes News

In this issue

  • ONE.
  • TWO.
  • THREE.
  • FOUR.
  • FIVE.
  • CCA encourages swift ratification of ‘new NAFTA’
  • Bovine Brucellosis Abortion Screening Pilot Project
  • Filing a food labelling product complaint – here’s how
  • Alberta Beef, Forage and Grazing Annual Meeting
  • Cows and Chaos webinar series back in 2020

CCA encourages swift ratification of ‘new NAFTA’

The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) has long been an advocate for North American free trade and strongly encourages swift ratification of the Canada, United States, Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) as the bill that would enable this was introduced into the House of Commons this week.
Under CUSMA and its predecessor, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the beef industries of Canada, the U.S., and Mexico enjoy reciprocal duty-free trade. The preservation of this trade access was a high priority for the CCA in the renegotiation process.
“We strongly encourage nonpartisan collaboration to enable swift ratification and implementation of the new NAFTA. This is of utmost importance to the Canadian beef industry,” said CCA President David Haywood Farmer. “Ratification will let us get back to focusing on next steps of strengthening trade between our nations such as the work undertaken by the Regulatory Cooperation Council.”
The experience of the North American beef cattle industries under NAFTA is testament to the value of trade agreements. Access to global markets, including the North American market, means that on average that each animal is worth over $600 CDN more than in comparison to domestic market sales alone.
Cattle producers across all three nations have worked to ensure the value of trade was understood by elected officials during the renegotiation process. The Canada – U.S. beef trading relationship is the largest in the world and trade has significant benefits for both industries.
The CCA will continue to encourage the Government of Canada towards swift ratification and regulatory cooperation across borders, which will further enhance the value of trade and strength of the North American market.

Bovine Brucellosis Abortion Screening Pilot Project

From February through July 2020, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and participating Canadian Animal Health Surveillance Network (CAHSN) laboratories will conduct a pilot project to improve Canada’s bovine brucellosis surveillance. Blood and tissue samples related to reproductive issues in cattle submitted to participating network laboratories during this time may be tested for brucellosis at a CFIA laboratory.
What is brucellosis?
Brucellosis is a disease caused by various species of Brucella bacteria. It is a contagious disease that can infect a variety of animal species including cattle and people. Clinical signs of brucellosis in cattle usually include late term abortion, retained placenta, reduced milk production and still-births or weak calves. Bovine brucellosis can spread from cattle to humans, most commonly through drinking infected raw milk or exposure to infected calving material (e.g. fetus, placenta).

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Note: there is no charge for brucellosis testing at the CFIA laboratory as part of this pilot project. Personal information will not accompany samples submitted from the network laboratory to CFIA. However, as noted above, if test results warrant further investigation, CFIA will obtain information from the CAHSN laboratory to follow up with the producer.

Filing a food labelling product complaint – here’s how

The effort to stop food producers and marketers from labelling vegetarian-based alternative protein food products as meat in Canada is part of an international movement towards achieving a common nomenclature for meat derived from animal-based proteins. Canada has its own regulatory requirements in this area, which should be respected. The use of health and environmental claims related to these products is also an area requiring enforcement. CCA has put together a document explaining how to file a food product complaint with the Government of Canada, regarding misleading labels.

To download a PDF version of the document go here.

Alberta Beef, Forage and Grazing Annual Meeting

The Alberta Beef, Forage and Grazing Centre invites you to join their Annual Meeting on February 5, 2020, at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Lacombe Research and Development Centre, Administration Building beginning at 9 a.m. 

What is the ABFGC? 

The Alberta Beef, Forage and Grazing (ABFGC) is a joint industry-government virtual network with the mission of developing and transferring knowledge, innovative processes and tools to improve the forage/beef industries through a systems approach. The network is centered at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Lacombe Research and Development Station, with collaborative research and knowledge translation and transfer initiatives that span organizations across Alberta and beyond. 

It focuses on research and extension activities related to producer-developed strategic goals: 

  1. Reduce winter feeding costs by 50% 
  2. Reduce cow herd environmental footprint by 15% 
  3. Improve cow efficiency by 15% 
  4. Reduce backgrounding costs by 50% 
  5. Improve late summer/fall pasture productivity by 30% 
  6. Build and maintain research and KTT capacity 

ABFGC is looking for your input on priority research and extension initiatives that will support the strategic goals. Please RSVP to ASAP - space is limited!

More information is available here.

Cows and Chaos webinar series back in 2020

The Cows and Chaos - Feed, Forage and Management Strategies webinar series got underway this week. This edition of the series will be covering topics producers face in late winter and early spring - from maintaining stored forage to this year’s calving season, and making the most out of your livestock on pasture.

Upcoming topics and registration links:

Webinars in this now weekly series will be available on Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s YouTube channel under the Cows and Chaos - Feed, Forage and Management Strategies playlist. Each webinar will be uploaded to the site the week following the broadcast.

The series is presented by a team from Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, forage and research associations and the livestock industry.

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