A five-year, $3-billion cost-share program is expected to enhance operations at provincially licensed abattoirs across the country.
Jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, the governments will provide up to $2 million in projects that will improve food safety, animal welfare and biosecurity measures at their operations.
Examples of eligible projects include capital upgrades for enhanced food safety, improvements in the safe handling and housing of animals, and new equipment for safe and efficient animal-hides disposal.
There are 123 provincially inspected abattoirs in Ontario, but few in the North.
The intake for abattoirs is effective Feb. 19 and applications will be accepted until April 30. Eligible projects must be completed by Dec. 31.
Joe Hill, president of Beef Farmers of Ontario, welcomed the funding.
"This funding comes at a time of critical challenges in the beef industry due to shortages in beef processing capacity,” Hill said in a Feb. 19 news release.
“Support for abattoirs will help enable investment in equipment and infrastructure that assists businesses in remaining competitive and adapting to market-driven demands."
In the same announcement, it was announced that another $292,600 is being invested into Places to Grow, an initiative to help the Beef Farmers of Ontario with efforts to market their products to Vietnam, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and the European Union.
The cost-shared project will encourage export-market diversification and support efforts to increase volume and sales through trade missions, promotional events and the development of new brands.