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Govt Invests in Research for Dairy Sector

02 September 2019

CANADA - Last week, the Honourable Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque, and Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced an investment of over $1.3 million to the University of Prince Edward Island's Atlantic Veterinary College to conduct research to improve dairy herd health.

The funding will support two projects, including:

  • Over $1.2 million to measure antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance in relation to animal health in support of a Canadian Dairy Network of Antimicrobial Stewardship and Resistance to help guide farmers in best practices.

  • Over $148,000 for research to extend cow life on dairy farms by improving calf management practices in the first year of life.

These projects are part of the $11.4-million Dairy Research Cluster that was announced on 16 July 2019 under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership's AgriScience Programme.

With industry contribution, the total investment in this cluster is $16.5 million. Led by Dairy Farmers of Canada, the cluster aims to foster public trust, drive innovation and stimulate economic growth of the Canadian dairy sector.

The Honourable Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque, said: "Canada's dairy sector helps drive our economy here on the Island and across Canada. We are working hard to ensure a prosperous future for our farmers, including continuing investments in animal research and innovation to keep the industry at the forefront in quality and efficiency, while creating well-paying jobs for our families."

Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, said: "Our dairy producers work hard every day to provide us with high-quality, safe, and innovative products and they are a vital to the economy of our rural communities. These investments will ensure our industry has the right tools and best practices to continue to provide the safe, high-quality products to Canadians."

Pierre Lampron, President of Dairy Farmers of Canada, said: "Antimicrobial resistance is a global issue that poses a serious threat to human health. The research undertaken on this topic will result in optimizing stewardship practices and contribute to national and international efforts in combating antimicrobial resistance. Today's announcement supports our commitment as dairy farmers to continuous improvement of our industry."

Dr Katherine Gottschall-Pass, UPEI Interim Vice-President Academic and Research, said: "On behalf of the University of Prince Edward Island, I thank the Government of Canada for its investment in the Atlantic Veterinary College's work to help dairy farmers improve the health, welfare, and productivity of their herds through the development of these management tools and practices they can use on the farm. The dairy industry plays a key role in Canada's economy, and we are proud to work with the industry to support its growth and sustainability through our research expertise."

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