Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada announced Aug. 29 an investment of more than $1.3 million to the University of Prince Edward Island's (UPEI) Atlantic Veterinary College to conduct research to improve dairy herd health.
Specifically, the funding will support two projects, including:
* More than $1.2 million to measure antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance in relation to animal health in support of a Canadian Dairy Network of Antimicrobial Stewardship & Resistance to help guide farmers in best practices.
* More than $148,000 for research to extend cow life on dairy farms by improving calf management practices in the first year of life.
"On behalf of the University of Prince Edward Island, I thank the government of Canada for its investment in the Atlantic Veterinary College's work to help dairy farmers improve the health, welfare, and productivity of their herds through the development of these management tools and practices they can use on the farm. The dairy industry plays a key role in Canada's economy, and we are proud to work with the industry to support its growth and sustainability through our research expertise," said Dr. Katherine Gottschall-Pass, UPEI interim vice-president academic and research.
These projects are part of the $11.4-million Dairy Research Cluster that was announced in July under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership's AgriScience Program, the announcement said. With industry contribution, the total investment in this cluster is $16.5 million. Led by Dairy Farmers of Canada, the cluster aims to foster public trust, drive innovation and stimulate economic growth of the Canadian dairy sector.
"Antimicrobial resistance is a global issue that poses a serious threat to human health. The research undertaken on this topic will result in optimizing stewardship practices and contribute to national and international efforts in combatting antimicrobial resistance. Today's announcement supports our commitment as dairy farmers to continuous improvement of our industry," noted Dairy Farmers of Canada president Pierre Lampron.
The announcement was made by members of Parliament Wayne Easter (Malpeque) and Sean Casey (Charlottetown) on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture & Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau.