P.E.I. backs sheep producers’ electric fencing

Sheep producers on Prince Edward Island will be able to get public funding to help cover the costs of building or upgrading to five-strand, high-tensile electric fencing.

The support will flow through the P.E.I. Sheep Breeders Association from the federal/provincial Growing Forward ag policy funding framework, the province announced Thursday.

The fencing is meant to help producers protect sheep from predators and from “potential diseases carried by both predatorial and non-predatorial species,” such as dogs or coyotes.

Parasites carried by dogs and coyotes are among the more common threats to sheep health, the province said, noting sheep can also pick up rabies from other species.

To be eligible to apply for funding, producers must be members of the Sheep Breeders Association, have a minimum flock of 15 breeding animals and attend one of two biosecurity sessions. Producers will be able to take out an association membership, if need be, at either of the sessions, the province noted.

The sessions are scheduled for Aug. 24 and Sept. 14 at the Atlantic Veterinary College from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Both include a lecture by UPEI’s Dr. Jeff Wichtel and a field tour with a fencing company representative.

Interested producers are asked to contact the provincial ag department at 902-368-4145 or toll-free at 866-734-3276.

The province didn’t specify Thursday what percentage of the bill for fencing would be covered through this program, nor whether there was a minimum or maximum contribution available, nor did it release the total amount of funding available through the program.

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