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June 30 deadline set for bluetongue insurance

Sheep producers have until June 30 to apply for annual coverage under the Canadian Sheep Federation’s national bluetongue insurance program for 2009.

The voluntary program provides coverage for mortality, business interruption and consequential losses due to bluetongue, an insect-borne viral disease of sheep and other livestock.

The coverage, which was made available for the first time last year, is meant to supplement funding available through current
government ag assistance programs, the CSF said in a release Friday.

“Two recent incidences in the U.S. give Canadian producers good reason to be on guard,” the CSF said, citing an outbreak in Montana last August that affected deer, antelope and sheep and put 16 counties under quarantine for over a month. Bluetongue also killed 250 sheep in Wyoming’s Big Horn Basin, the federation said.

“We hope that bluetongue disease does not affect Canada’s sheep industry,” CSF executive director Jennifer MacTavish said in the federation’s release, “but if it does, this new program will ensure that sheep farmers will have a tool that will allow us to recover our losses.”

The insurance program is endorsed by the CSF and financially
assisted through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s private sector risk
management partnerships (PSRMP) program.

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