Feds cough up $255K for goat tagging program

OTTAWA -- No, someone did not get the goat of the new Liberal government in Ottawa.

But it appears Canada's goat farmers did get Ottawa's ear.

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The government is providing more than $250,000 to help the industry prepare for national identification requirements for the country's approximately 225,000 goats.

The funds will help set up a tagging and traceability system for a growing animal husbandry sector that includes meat, dairy and goat fibres.

The Canadian National Goat Federation says there are unique challenges to creating a common identification tagging system for all goats because of the wide variety of ears found on different breeds.

The federation says identifying and tracing goats has benefits for both producers and consumers and that production has doubled or tripled in Ontario and Quebec over the past decade thanks to growing ethnic and gourmet markets.

Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay said in a release Wednesday that the federal funding helps set the stage for a mandatory identification and traceability system under changes made last year to federal animal health regulations.

Canada's roughly 225,000 goats are found on about 6,000 farms. According to Statistics Canada, the primary exports are meat, cheese and live animals.



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