Province spends $300,000 to strengthen dairy program

Dairy farmers and veterinarians are receiving support from the province of Ontario to prevent the spread of Johne’s disease in Ontario cattle, Perth-Wellington MPP John Wilkinson announced on last week.

The province is providing  $300,000 to strengthen the Johne’s Education and Management Assistance Program, which is an industry-led, four-year initiative focused on preventing the spread of Johne’s disease, a common bacterial infection in the intestinal tract of cattle.

“Our riding is home to largest concentration of world class dairy producers in Ontario,” said Wilkinson. “So I am pleased that our dairy sector is receiving this assistance. This will help ensure that our dairy Industry remains strong and secure.”

This initiative is the result of a commitment by dairy producers, industry members and veterinarians to enhance farm productivity, cattle health, a safe food supply and protection of the environment. This proactive, non-regulatory initiative complements the safeguards for animal health that the new Ontario Animal Health Act provides.

“Ontario’s dairy industry has provided strong leadership in promoting practices that contribute to animal and human health and food quality,” said Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

“These have always been important priorities for our government, and I am pleased to support efforts that will enhance the excellence of our province’s dairy industry.”

Ontario dairy farmers represent the province’s largest commodity group, with an annual farm gate value of about $1.7-billion. There are about 400,000 dairy cows in Ontario, averaging 60 cows per dairy farm.