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B.C.’s incentive boosts age verification

An incentive for British Columbia cattle producers to age-verify their calves is expected to ensure the province has the highest program participation rate in Canada.

The $12-per-calf incentive program administered by the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association (BCCA) has boosted the province’s participation rate in age verification to 47 per cent, the province reported Monday in a release.

“After the 2003 BSE crisis, age-verifying of Canadian calves is vital to restoring and retaining beef exports,” the province said, noting age verification will also be “increasingly” important to market cattle in Alberta by 2010.

BCCA “has done a remarkable job since the province first invested in the age-verification of cattle program last May,” Agriculture Minister Stan Hagen said in the release.

The association, whose membership currently includes almost 1,500 ranchers, “reached beyond (its) membership to represent the whole sector and took a risk in developing a new program, which has turned into a provincial success story,” the province wrote.

“We’ve always been the voice for ranchers in this province and it’s great when we can make that voice heard and see this kind of success,” said BCCA president Roland Baumann, a cattle producer at Vanderhoof, about 100 km west of Prince George, in the province’s release.

The deadline for incentive program applications is Jan. 15, 2009.

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