Provincial government extends livestock fencing program

A cow. Photo by Pixabay

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — The provincial government announced last week that it is extending the Provincial Livestock Fencing Program for five more years.

The government says that the program extension is part of $46 million in safety improvements approved in this year’s provincial budget. The program, which is a partnership between the provincial government and BC Cattlemen’s Association, will receive $1 million per year over the next five years. Since the program launched in 2010, the government has spent $16 million to help get more than 900 kilometres of livestock fencing erected along B.C. highways.

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According to information provided by the Cattleman’s Association, fatalities involving cattle on roads and railways have declined from 92 in 2011 to 21 last year.

“The success of the Provincial Livestock Fencing Program in reducing livestock-related collisions on our highways makes extending it for five more years an easy decision,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena. “There are two major benefits of the fencing program: Keeping people safe while driving, and helping ranchers protect their investment.”

The BC Cattlemen’s Association will continue to administer the popular, taking applications from livestock owners who are seeking assistance to build fences adjacent to the highway. Applications are reviewed by a committee, and projects are selected based on several factors, including current fence condition, livestock headcount, and highway designation.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the fencing program is responsible for the drastic reduction in the number of cattle lost to ranchers and farmers,” said Kevin Boon, general manager, BC Cattlemen’s Association. “This partnership with the Province for five more years will allow us to keep more of our livestock out of harm’s way, but more importantly, it helps keep the travelling public safe.”

Applications from livestock owners are received by the BCCA, at: http://www.cattlemen.bc.ca/fencing.htm.

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