The B.C. government is continuing to work with the Government of Canada to ensure B.C. ranchers have access to either existing or new programs as part of the overall response to the devastating wildfires in the province’s Interior.
The potential impact is severe as B.C. ranchers have an estimated 30,000 animals within the boundaries of the wildfire-affected areas. The number of confirmed livestock injuries and losses is not available yet as the ongoing emergency response continues. Once the information is available, the B.C. government will work quickly with industry stakeholders to develop a fair and timely response.
While recognizing that given the scope of the wildfires, additional programs will likely be needed, the B.C. government is encouraging ranchers and crop producers to look at the existing federal and provincial government insurance and income protection programs that are available today.
It is estimated more than 500 ranchers have already received support and information through the wildfire emergency response. The Ministry of Agriculture continues to be in close contact with the BC Cattlemen’s Association, and remains committed to hearing directly from ranchers with their concerns, so the ministry can connect them with the support and services they need.
- The governments of Canada and British Columbia insurance and income assistance programs: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs/insurance-and-income-protection
- The Province is spending about $6 million on fence reconstruction efforts along highways and on Crown range using a prioritized approach to protect public safety and the welfare of livestock. Contact your local regional district range staff about Crown range fences and the BC Cattlemen’s Association about highway fences: 250 573-3611
- The Emergency Management BC Commercial Livestock Relocation program provides resources to commercial livestock producers to help evacuate and relocate livestock in areas under an evacuation alert or evacuation order. Contact your local Emergency Operations Centre to request Form 514: Cariboo Regional District Emergency Operations Centre at 250 398-5581 or Thompson-Nicola Regional District Emergency Operations Centre at 250 377-7188.
- Emergency livestock feed is available to commercial livestock producers in the Cariboo Regional District that have lost grazing areas as a result of wildfires. To register, contact the Northeast Area Provincial Regional Emergency Operations Centre at 250-561-3514.
- The BC Cattlemen’s Association and Range staff from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development have are working with ranchers throughout B.C. to locate Crown range and private grazing areas that are available to accommodate wildfire-affected ranchers who need summer and fall grazing. For more information, contact: BC Cattlemen’s Association: 250 573-3611 or your local district’s range staff.
Dave TownsendGovernment Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Agriculture
250 889-5945 (mobile)