2004 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions

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This Week
Resolution #1Richardson Ground Squirrel Control
Resolution #2Grasshopper Control Program Continuation
Resolution #3Dead Animal Pickup Charges
Resolution #4Wildlife Damage Compensation Program for Pastures - defeated at ASB Conference - January, 2004
Resolution #5Soliciting to Keep Apiculture Program at the Agriculture and Agri Food Canada Research Station (Beaverlodge Research Station)
Resolution #6Invasive Plant Management
Resolution #7Supplementary Tariff Rate Quotas
Resolution #8Tariff Rate Quota Penalties
Emergent Resolution #1Mandatory Fusarium Graminearum Testing at Alberta Seed Cleaning Plants
Emergent Resolution #2Ruminant Protein Storage by Feed Mills

Resolution #1
Richardson Ground Squirrel control

Be it resolved: Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development urge the Government of Canada to continue supporting the use of 2% Liquid Strychnine for the control of the Richardson Ground Squirrel under the current rules and regulations that have been administered by the PMRA the past three years.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (AAFRD) has worked very closely with all levels of government and industry to provide landholders with effective ground squirrel management tools. As you know, AAFRD was granted emergency registration authorization from 2001 to 2003 that allowed municipalities to purchase strychnine concentrate for re-sale in a fresh mixed, ready-to-use product.

Emergency registration authorization allows unregistered pesticides to be used where conventional controls have proven ineffective and, that without pesticide intervention, a state of emergency exists. Alberta was fortunate to have been awarded the maximum three-year term of emergency registrations.

For spring baiting this year, Nu-Gro Corp. manufactured a fresh-made strychnine bait very similar to the product formulated under the successful emergency registrations. The product is marketed through municipal offices.

AAFRD will continue to work with other government agencies, the farming community as well as industry to assist landholders in protecting their cropland. Currently, the department is conducting field research to develop alternate control agents to strychnine. Additionally, AAFRD is participating in a major stakeholder group that includes the farming community to develop an integrated pest management, long-term approach to prevent and control ground squirrel damage.

Resolution #2
Grasshopper control program continuation

Be it resolved:Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development continue the Grasshopper Control Program for 2004.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
Grasshopper infestation is projected to be severe to very severe in many parts of the province for the 2004 season. Grasshopper numbers can be significantly reduced if there is cool wet weather soon after the eggs are hatched. Landowners are advised to check their fields regularly to determine infestation levels and take control action to minimize losses. Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development staff will be monitoring grasshopper infestation levels and will update the forecast map. Financial support for control in 2003 was cost-shared between the federal and provincial governments. This support may be made available again in 2004 depending on the severity of infestation and available funds from each level of government.

Resolution #3
Dead animal pickup charges

Be it resolved: Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development urge the Federal Government to initiate a program to compensate producers who use a service for on Farm Dead Animal Removal.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
Limited markets and/or increased costs for rendering operations have resulted in chares to farmers for pick-up of dead animals.

Neither the provincial nor federal government is willing to venture into a program to provide payment to either producers or renderers for the farm pickup of dead animals. Verification of pick-up and establishment of reasonable payment rates are just two administrative problems with such a program.

Producers have other legislated alternatives as prescribed in the Destruction and Disposal of Dead Animals Regulation.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has suggested they may offer payment to producers to encourage them to have older beef cows picked up by renderers in an effort to receive more animals for BSE testing. The Alberta government is considering participation in this program as well.

Resolution #4
Wildlife damage compensation program for pastures

Be it resolved: Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, Fish and Wildlife Division include damage from ungulates to pastures to the Waterfowl and Wildlife Damage Compensation Program that the departments now offer.

Defeated at ASB Provincial Conference - January, 2004

Resolution #5
Soliciting to keep Apiculture program at the Agriculture and Agri Food Canada Research Station (Beaverlodge Research Station)

Be it resolved: Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development urge the Federal Government to continue the operation of the apiculture program at Beaverlodge Research Station and that adequate funds be allocated for research and recruitment of scientists.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
As the resolution points out, the apiary program at Beaverlodge is a federal program operated by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). The recent proposal to relocate the apiary program was initiated by AAFC as part of a formal review of their structural and research programs.

While there have been no recent communications on this issue, we anticipate further discussions to evaluate whether such a move will be more beneficial to the apiculture industry in Alberta as well as across Canada. Parties that have been involved in the discussion are AAFC, Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (AAFRD) and members of the Alberta Beekeepers Association. Please note that the final decision for relocating the program will be made by AAFC. We recommend expressing your concerns to AAFC's Minister, the Honourable Bob Speller.

Over the years the Alberta government has sponsored several research projects at Beaverlodge. We will continue supporting and working with AAFC towards keeping an active apiary research program to serve the beekeeping industry in Alberta and across the country.

Resolution #6
Invasive plant management

Be it resolved: Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, Alberta Community Development, and Alberta Environment immediately implement and integrate a permanent, comprehensive, cooperative, and adequately funded invasive plant control program on lands they manage, in consultation with Alberta's Agricultural Service Boards, with the goal of fulfilling their commitments to Albertans.

Alberta Sustainable Resource Development
Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) has engaged in Alberta Environment's War on Weeds initiative and actively participates in the Alberta Invasive Plant Council to co-ordinate intergovernmental and industry programs. SRD works regularly with stakeholders and disposition holders to ensure weeds are controlled on occupied public land as stipulated in the Public Lands Act. SRD has a successful working relationship with municipalities in both the Green and White Areas of the province and will continue to work together with municipalities and stakeholders to address invasive plants on vacant public land. There are concerns, however, in municipalities that do not have an ASB that enforcement of the Weed Control Act on occupied land in these municipalities is lacking. I recommend that this issue be addressed at the next ASB meeting.

SRD has taken active steps to evaluate the threat of invasive species by commissioning a study to investigate the ecological and economic impacts of invasive species on Alberta's natural resources. SRD recognizes the need for a more co-ordinated approach to address the impacts of invasive species regarding resources, governance, and better integration of resource policies.

SRD has established an Invasive Species Committee, with an initial task of developing a departmental invasive plants strategy. This strategy is intended to outline the components of a departmental invasive plants program that will allow SRD to more effectively address the impacts of invasive plants in partnership with other ministries, stakeholders, and municipalities.

Alberta Community Development
Community Development (CD) recognizes the seriousness of invasive plant issues and agrees that a coordinated approach to the management of invasive species, with representatives of municipalities, government agencies and other land managers, is required. Our department is already working with other provincial agencies, municipalities and other stakeholders to address the issue of invasive species through the Alberta Invasive Plants Council. Also, CD, along with other provincial government departments, is participating in a review of the National Alien Invasive Species Strategy. The goal of this strategy is to provide a coordinated approach to the management of invasive species across agencies and jurisdictions. Our department is also involved with a new northern mixed grass invasive species initiative, which is a multi-jurisdictional initiative between Alberta, Saskatchewan and Montana.

CD has taken a number of steps to address the need for better information on invasive plant problems on its lands. We are documenting the status of our knowledge about invasive plant issues on lands managed by this department. This project will complement initiatives such as the Invasive Plant Species Assessment program proposed by Alberta Sustainable Resource Development. It will help to identify lands that need immediate action to eradicate and control some of the existing populations of invasive plants, and will also help in the development of an internal CD policy on invasive species management for parks and protected areas.

Inventories of invasive plant species have been completed for Beauvais Lake and Police Outpost Provincial Parks, and are underway in Dinosaur Provincial Park. Inventory and/or monitoring of selected invasive species have also been conducted by Parks staff or by other government and non-government agencies in several other protected areas, such as Milk River Natural Area, Kennedy Coulee Ecological Reserve and Willmore Wilderness Park.

In summary, CD attempts, within its budget constraints, to control and/or monitor invasive species within a protected area when it is deemed that they are a threat to the ecological integrity of the site. Contracted operators of provincial parks are also obligated to control species listed under the Weed Control Act, if encountered within the facility zone of the park.

CD does not restrict the definition of invasive plants to those species listed under the Weed Control Act, but also includes agronomic and horticultural species that invade native ecosystems. Agronomic species, such as smooth brome, timothy, crested wheatgrass and sweet clover, may be a higher threat to the ecological integrity of parks and protected areas that species listed under the Weed Control Act. It should also be noted that many of the invasive species on lands managed by CD are there because of past or present land use practices from neighbouring lands.

Alberta Environment
Alberta Environment manages very little land in Alberta - primarily land associated with irrigation development in southern Alberta. We are aware of the very significant impacts of invasive species (plants or other organisms) on the environment and appreciate the need for control efforts.

Alberta Environment is responsible for the issuance of reclamation certificates on specified land subject to this certification process. The absence of invasive plant species (species designated "noxious" under the provincial Weed Control Act) is a requirement for reclamation certificate issuance.

Alberta Environment is a member of the Alberta Invasive Plant Council and will work through this council to minimize the impact of invasive plants in addition to taking responsibility for invasive plant species on land managed directly by Alberta Environment.

Resolution #7
Supplementary tariff rate quotes

Be it resolved: That the Government of Canada permanently discontinue the issuance of supplementary TRQs.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
For the long term prosperity of the industry we have taken the interests of all participants from further processors to primary producers. The flexibility to issue supplementary import permits is necessary to ensure supplies of particular beef inputs that are not always available in Canada. Alberta supports the current policy of the federal government that has been jointly developed by government and the industry. The federal government has done a good job thus far in applying the current policy in light of the BSE situation by curtailing the issuance of supplementary import permits. Alberta continues to monitor the import situation with the co-operation of the federal government.

Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
It is recommended that the issuance of supplementary permits for importing beef be permanently discontinued. In deciding how to administer the beef and veal Tariff Rate Quota (TRQ), the Ministers of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and International Trade Canada consult with the Ad-Hoc Beef and Veal Committee (AHC) and the Beef and Veal Tariff Quota Advisory Committee. These committees represent the interests of the full spectrum of the Canadian beef value chain. They are currently considering the objectives of the TRQ, and the principles on which they agree will help inform future decisions on administering the TRQ as well as on issuing supplementary permits.

We recognize the challenges facing the Canadian beef industry as a result of their exclusion from export markets due to the detection of bovine spongiform encephalopathy. In order to support them and to maximize their opportunities to market beef domestically, on July 18, 2003, the Government of Canada announced that it would normally refuse authorization for import permits received after July 9, 2003. On April 20, 2004, the federal government accepted the recommendations of the AHC and published a Notice to Importers which provides that supplemental imports of beef and veal will not be authorized unless neither the specific product nor a reasonable substitute is available at a competitive price from a Canadian supplier. This notice remains in effect and will not expire on any pre-determined date. However, it is subject to future revision in order to respond to the needs of the domestic beef industry.

Resolution #8
Tariff rate quota penalties

Be it resolved: The federal government refrain from penalizing TRQ holders that do not use at least 90% of their quota and who do not turn in their quotas for the years 2003 and 2004.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
There have been modifications in the underutilization aspects of the beef import policy. The penalty may be waived if the shortfall is less than 9,000 kilograms. Further, if firms return the quota they are unable to use before a given deadline, the returned amounts will not be considered unused for the purpose of penalty assessment. These modications appear to be satisfactory to stakeholders.

Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
No decision has yet been made on the administration of the 2005 TRQ. I am informed that the Ad-Hoc Beef and Veal Committee is reviewing the matter and will report to the Ministers with a recommendation for their consideration later this year.

Alberta Agricultural Service Boards can rest assured that the federal government, in cooperation with provincial governments and industry, is pursuing all opportunities to assist farmers and to secure a market for their animals and products during these difficult times.

Emergent Resolution #1
Mandatory Fusarium Graminearum testing at Alberta seed cleaning plants

Be it resolved: Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development amend the current Fusarium Graminearum Management Plan to include mandatory testing of all cereal grain prior to entering any co-op, private or mobile seed cleaning plant.

Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
In October 2002 Minister Shirley McClellan approved a Fusarium Management Plan (FSP) that required all cereal grain (including corn) intended for seed to be tested and certified free of Fusarium graminearum. Grain intended for feed does not require testing but can be used under best management practices. The FSP has been working well in containing the spread of this disease and maintaining a viable agriculture industry.

At the Alberta Seed Cleaning Plant Association's annual convention in January 2004 a resolution was passed to have all seed tested for Fusarium. The resolution for mandatory testing of all cereal grain prior to cleaning will be reviewed by the Fusarium Action Committee and considered for incorporation into the FSP.

Emergent Resolution #2
Ruminant protein storage by feed mills

Be it resolved: The federal government be urged to amend the Canada Feeds Act to clearly state that ruminant proteint sources may not stored on the premises of a facility while it is producing ruminant feed,

and further be it resolved that: The federal government amend the Canada Feeds Act to prohibit the addition of any ruminant protein including blood meal for use in ruminant feed.

Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
With respect to the control of feeding animal by-products to animals, the Health of Animals Regulations were amended in 1997 by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to ban the feeding of most proteins that originate from mammals to ruminant species (cattle, sheep, goats, deer, elk, etc.). Although feed manufacturers and livestock producers could no longer use the prohibited products as ingredients in ruminant feeds, these materials could still be safely fed to non-ruminant animals, such as poultry and swine, as these species are not known to be susceptible to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

The implementation of the current feed ban was science-based and consistent with recommendations made by the World Health Organization and the Office international des epizooties, the world organization for animal health. The CFIA has enforced the ban since 1997 through import controls on animal proteins and feeds originating from outside Canada, and inspections at several points along the domestic animal feed and production chain (i.e. at rendering plants, commercial feed mills, feed retail outlets, on-farm feed manufacturers and livestock feeders). While the ban has allowed the handling of prohibited proteins and the manufacture of ruminant feeds on the same premises, the focus of CFIA inspection activities at such sites has been to verify that control procedures are in place and being followed to prevent accidental inclusion or cross-contamination of ruminant feeds or corss-feeding of ruminants with prohibited proteins.

When it was implemented, the ban was viewed as a secondary BSE control measure and a precaution in the event that BSE had entered Canada but had gone undetected in our cattle population. Strict import controls on animals and animal products and by-products were considered our primary line of defence against the introduction of the disease.

However, as a result of the discovery of BSE in Canada in May 2003, the Government of Canada recognizes that a feed ban is a primary control measure in preventing BSE from being transmitted to other cattle. To this end, the Government has been actively consulting with provincial governments, stakeholders and trading partners on options to further enhance the safety of the Canadian feed chain.

Without a doubt, the resolutions put forward by the Alberta ASB - that the feed ban regulations be modified to require "...ruminant protein sources...not be stored on the premises of a facility while it is producing ruminant feed" and "...prohibit the addition of any ruminant protein including blood meal for use in ruminant feed-" are aspects of the current ban within the scope of changes being considered. While not expressly recommended in the ASB resolutions, the Government would consider such changes as potentially necessary at both the commercial and on-farm levels of feed manufacturing, distribution, storage and use, given the potential risks of BSE transmission possible at each level.

At present, no final decision has been taken as what particular changes to the feed ban should be made. Once final proposals have been determined, the Government will invite all provinces/territories, stakeholders and trading partners to participate in a consultation process prior to putting any changes in effect.


Other Documents in the Series

  2010 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2009 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2008 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2007 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2006 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2005 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2004 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions - Current Document
2003 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2002 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2001 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
2000 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
1999 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
1998 Agricultural Service Board Resolutions
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This information published to the web on August 16, 2004.
Last Reviewed/Revised on August 2, 2006.