A new agricultural funding program is aimed at making it easier for farmers to access veterinary services for their animals.
The Livestock Veterinary Innovation Initiative is being funded with $4 million from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a joint project of the Canadian and Ontario governments. It's aimed at improving virtual care options, expanding telemedicine access, and addressing issues with mobile clinics.
Examples include the long distances between farmers and animal health-care providers, and the shortage of food-animal veterinarians working in underserviced areas.
Projects eligible for funds under the initiative include:
- equipment to help veterinary practices deliver enhanced virtual care, diagnostic work and tele-medical support for farms;
- portable, specialized, livestock handling equipment to help veterinary practices or farms manage animals while receiving care;
- and training for veterinary professionals to help them use new equipment, techniques or deliver more efficient and accessible support to livestock farmers.
Under the cost-share model, eligible applicants can receive up to 35 per cent cost share for eligible expenses provincewide, and up to 50 per cent cost share in areas that have been identified as underserviced in terms of available veterinary capacity.
Veterinary businesses can apply for funds between Feb. 15 and March 31. Approved projects must be completed by Sept. 30, 2022.
The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada's federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada's agri-food and agri-products sectors. This includes a $2-billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories.