The Yukon government has launched a pilot program to help cover veterinarians’ travel and service expenses for farm calls.
The territory government on Tuesday announced it will accept up to 30 farmers for the pilot of the Veterinary Services Program, running from now to the end of March 2016.
The program will reimburse participating veterinarians for up to $1,000 per farm. Eligible costs include a veterinarian’s travel costs to and from a farm; professional service and farm call fees; and fees for up to three phone consultations.
Farms that raise beef cattle, dairy cattle, goats, sheep, poultry, swine, alpacas, llamas, yaks, elk, bison, muskox and/or farmed fish for human consumption are eligible to enroll in the pilot.
Horses, which are “not raised for food in Yukon,” are not covered. People with “six or fewer poultry” will be eligible for $250 per premises per year.
Livestock owners would still be responsible for paying fees for testing samples and for any drugs, vaccines or treatments their animals require.
Beyond the end of March, the government said, the program “may be renewed if an evaluation shows it is successful and financial support continues to be available.” The pilot is backed by the Growing Forward 2 federal/provincial/territorial ag policy funding framework.
“Veterinarians are specialists in disease diagnosis and health monitoring and can help farmers take measures to improve the health of Yukon livestock,” Environment Minister Wade Istchenko said in a release.
However, the government said, “because many farmers live far from veterinary clinics, travel costs can be a barrier to obtaining veterinary services.”
Yukon livestock producers previously had such a program in place to cover vets’ travel costs and “there has been an interest from several parties to re-establish this,” the government said Tuesday. — AGCanada.com Network