Bluetongue insurance for 2009 is now available to all Canadian sheep producers.
The voluntary program provides affordable insurance coverage for mortality, business interruption and consequential losses due to bluetongue – an insect-borne viral disease of sheep and other livestock. Producers have until June 30, 2009 to apply for the annual coverage, which supplements funding available through current government agricultural assistance programs.
Bluetongue is not only a threat to European sheep producers – two recent incidences in the United States give Canadian producers good reason to be on guard. An outbreak in Montana in early August last year affected deer, antelope and sheep. It was severe enough that 16 counties, most of them in eastern Montana, were placed under quarantine. Bluetongue also killed 250 sheep in Wyoming’s Big Horn Basin.
Launching the insurance program is an innovative step by the Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF) to protect sheep farmers in the event of an outbreak of bluetongue disease.
This commercial insurance program is endorsed by the CSF and financially assisted through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Private Sector Risk Management Partnerships (PSRMP) Program.
Additional details on bluetongue insurance products for sheep farmers including information on how to apply is available from the Canadian Sheep Federation at www.cansheep.ca.