Alberta’s cattle feeders need immediate action! Border crossings must be opened; federal and provincial governments alike NEED to enforce the law and ensure highways and border crossings are open!
Alberta’s cattle feeders, and the entire agricultural value chain, have been trying to inform protestors and government alike to the significant impact this ongoing blockade is having on our rural economy. While we understand the frustrations over remaining mandates and support the right to protest, this prolonged blocking of vital roads and borders is illegal and is having a significant negative impact on the important economic trade these locations support. On Saturday February 12, the Canada Border Services Agency suspended services at the Coutts port of entry. Trucks carrying live cattle across this international border are suspended. This will impact everyone along the beef value chain from cow-calf operators all the way to processors.
Our government needs to take immediate, tangible action to stop this illegal activity to restore trade and supply chain.
“The cattle industry has suffered already significant losses over the last year due to packing plant shutdowns, drought, feed shortages, and rail and transport issues; this industry cannot afford further, preventable losses,” says Greg Schmidt, local Alberta beef producer and Chair of the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association.
Alberta’s cattle feeding sector generates $2.9 billion in economic output and $983 million in gross domestic product annually, directly employing ~20 000 people. Every day the border is closed, it is costing Alberta’s cattle feeders in extra feed, which is already in short supply, and in cattle prices. These losses will trickle down to calf purchases.
ACFA and its members ask the protestors to recognize the significant harm they are causing to their own neighbours, colleagues, and industry. We are not asking for protests to stop, rather that the approach is changed so not to further detriment trade and the agriculture and agri-food industry.
As protestors continue to block these borders, our provincial government must enact legal solutions to ensure the border is reopened before there are irreversible effects economically, on animal welfare, and human mental health.
For more information, please contact:
Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association