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Support to Ranchers in the Removal of Specified Risk Material

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Support to Ranchers in the Removal of Specified Risk Material

Agriculture Provincial Policy

Agriculture - Provincial Policy


The devastating effect that bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) has had on Alberta ranchers is still a significant obstacle to the success of the cattle industry. In 2007 “enhanced animal health protection” requirements were introduced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) designed “to help eliminate bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) from Canada.” The protocols and regulations introduced have led to greatly increased costs in time, resources, and administrative record keeping for producers, veterinarians, and processors forced to handle and dispose of dead stock and specified risk material (SRM). 

Many facilities that accepted dead stock and SRM stopped accepting them when faced with increased costs and complications. This development has forced producers, veterinarians, and processors to absorb all the increased handling and disposal costs. 

In addition to the increased costs to all involved, the Government of Alberta has also discontinued its services for removal of dead stock. Until somewhat recently, Alberta ranchers were able to request for the removal of a deceased animal by the province. This lack of service has simply been passed on to those on the front lines of the already battered industry. 

At a time when profit in the industry is unstable, to say the least, these costs of disposal will very likely lead to increased disposal of dead stock and SRMs on private or public land, leading to increased and undesirable predator/scavenger activity on these lands. This type of activity will only increase the problem the industry is facing.


The Alberta Chamber of Commerce recommends the Government of Alberta

  1. Work with producers to determine a cost-effective solution to such removal until a time when the Canadian Food Inspection Agency discontinues its current polices for disposal of dead stock cattle and their associated specified risk material (SRM), as this support will discourage improper discarding of potentially diseased animals, as well as SRM disposal.

Date Approved: 2014
Date Completed: 2015

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