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Agriculture

Banff bull bison relocated to Rocky Mountain House after wandering out of park

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bison

BANFF, Alta. — Parks Canada says a third bull bison has wandered out of Banff National Park.

A herd of wild plains bison has been free to roam a 1,200 square-kilometre area in the backcountry for the past year as part of a pilot project to determine whether they can be restored in the country’s first national park.

Blair Fyten, a human-wildlife conflict specialist with Parks Canada, said they got a report on Aug. 1 that one of the animals had left the park.

“On Aug. 2 and 3, Parks Canada resource conservation staff took immediate action to investigate the report using aerial searches, ground patrols and remote cameras,” he said during a conference call Friday afternoon.

Fyten said they received another report from a member of the public on Aug. 4 and kept searching.

“Parks Canada located the bison approximately 15 kilometres northwest of Sundre on Aug. 4,” he said. “This was approximately 44 kilometres east of the previous sighting.”

He said they don’t know how the five-year-old bison ended up there, but decided to immobilize and relocate the animal because of its proximity to agricultural areas and its continued eastward movement.

“We are pleased to report that the bison is safe and healthy, however, it will no longer be part of the Banff Bison Reintroduction Project and will not be returned to Banff National Park,” said Fyten, reading from a statement.

He said the bison will join a small herd of plains bison managed by Parks Canada at Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site, which has a 24-hectare fenced-in pasture.

It’s not the first time a bison has wandered out of Banff National Park since the herd was allowed to roam free.

Last August, two bison bulls were removed from the herd because they posed a safety risk to the public and to livestock. One of the bulls was killed by park wildlife staff, while the second was captured and relocated to Waterton Lakes National Park’s bison paddock.

The rest of the herd, which is 35 animals, remains within Banff National Park.

“The main group — it would be 33 animals — are currently in the northwest section of the park within the reintroduction zone,” said Saundi Stevens, acting lead on the bison project. “The remaining two bulls, at last known location, they were apart from that main group.

“Adult males do have a tendency to wander further.”

— By Colette Derworiz in Edmonton. Follow @cderworiz on Twitter.

The Canadian Press


Agriculture

Red Deer – Mountain View MP Earl Dreeshen grills federal government on carbon tax affect on farmers

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From a Facebook post of Earl Dreeshen

May 14 Questions

Today I questioned the Federal Agricutlure Minister on the Liberal's anti Agriculture policies including the Carbon Tax.

Posted by Earl Dreeshen on Thursday, May 14, 2020

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Agriculture

Is the Meat Industry Equipped to Handle a Pandemic?

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Is the Meat Industry Equipped to Handle a Pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted industries across the world. One of the main sectors that’s concerning experts is the meat and agriculture industry. This concern intensifies in Western Canada since much of the land there is farmland. The imbalance of supply and demand is affecting present-day agricultural production. However, farmers and industry leaders are focused on what is still to come in the future.

From labour shortages to potential outbreaks during production, the future of the meat industry is unclear. The outcome will depend on several factors: government aid, the spread of the virus and COVID-19’s behaviour — which is often unpredictable. Ultimately, the present handling of the meat industry may impact its future and relationship with consumers.

Current Standing

The Government of Canada recently decided to assist farms across the country with federal funding. These farms rely on the production and exportation of meats like beef, pork and chicken to reach supply and demand needs. However, as the virus continues spreading, farmworkers need to maintain physical distance and increase sanitation practices. The government’s funding will compensate workers during this time.

For Canada, part of the stress on the industry comes from the exportation needs. While farmers need to meet country-wide demands, Canada is also an international exporter, especially for the United States.

While the industry is currently suffering from labour shortages, production remains relatively stable. Farmers are adapting to meet new supply and demand requirements. For instance, since restaurants are closing, demands for certain foods, like cheese, will decrease. As workers fall ill and farms need to enforce social distancing, though, production is slowing down.

The funding from Canada’s federal government is supposed to help workers, especially those who are newly arriving. Migrants from Mexico and the Caribbean make up a large portion of Canada’s agricultural workforce. However, whether this funding will be enough is yet to come to light. Additionally, ensuring the even distribution of that money to migrant workers is another issue.

The Industry’s Future

Many experts are focusing on the road ahead. While the current path is fluctuating, the future may hold a more dangerous outcome for the industry. If the virus continues spreading at its current rate, farms may see more issues than ever before.

One of the main factors is the labour shortage. Currently, Canada’s farming labour force is lacking. Production is slow, and workers don’t have the resources and help they need to meet demands. In the future, this could worsen as fewer employees are available. For instance, the poultry sector faces significant demands every day. Part of the process of raising chickens includes weeks of tending to them. If there aren’t enough people to do this job, consumers will see the availability of chicken drop.

The issue of perishables will also present itself. As meat processing must be quick, slower production means more goods will go to waste. Meeting supply and demand requires healthy workers to keep the chain going.

The other major factor that will affect the industry is the spread of the virus. That depends on how the Canadian government handles COVID-19 and how efficiently people practice social distancing. Federal funding will aid production, but if the virus remains present, it will continue spreading. If it reaches processing plants, contamination will become a more serious issue than it already is.

Next Steps

To increase resources and support for farmers and migrant workers, the government will need to provide more emergency funding. This step allows the agriculture industry to invest in more tools, sanitation products, financial support and benefits for all workers. Monitoring the spread of the virus is also crucial. If the government can properly track and isolate cases, COVID-19 will dwindle in its effects. Then, meat industry workers will not have to worry about contracting or spreading the coronavirus.

Canadian Federal Government Taking Measures to Reduce Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

 

 

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