The MLA for Drumheller-Stettler continues to monitor an outbreak of Bovine Tuberculosis in southeastern Alberta that forced the quarantine of thousands of head of cattle and the slaughter of thousands more.
The matter arose in September, 2016 when a cow shipped to the United States was found to be sick with the contagious disease. Since then, the lives of dozens of ranchers have been put on hold while the Canadian Food Inspection Agency carries out an investigation.
"There have been some new cases involved in quarantine, (but) I'm pleased to say that they are actually in the process of releasing some properties from quarantine," reported Rick Strankman. "It is a disturbing development in agriculture and I'm looking forward to trying to see a solution to that."
"I was pleased at a recent meeting in Brooks that federal agriculture minister Lawrence McCaulay had one of his close aides onsite to hear directly from producers," he added. "It is my will and hope and message to both the provincial minister and the federal minister that these ranchers be left whole again."
The two levels of government say producers affected by the Bovine TB quarantine will be eligible for financial assistance under the agri-recovery framework. In the meantime, producers can access immediate help through the Advance Payments Program.
"It's a significant financial period of distress for these producers and all those who are in the quarantine areas," stated Strankman, who used to be the agriculture critic for the Wildrose Party. "I'm going to do my level best, critic or not, but as an Albertan agriculture producer to defend them to the best of my ability."
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