October 16, 2003



Canada's Quebec Government Aids Beef Producers With Financial Incentives

Canada's Quebec government will give $20 million to the province's beef producers, who are suffering in the aftermath of the mad cow crisis.


Agriculture Minister Francoise Gauthier made the announcement on Wednesday, less than a week after some beef producers north of Quebec City tried to get their point across by shooting a cow to death in front of TV cameras.


The farmers warned at the time they would kill more animals unless money was forthcoming from the Quebec government.


Gauthier said the cow shooting had nothing to do with Wednesday's announcement. She pointed out the Quebec government already has given $58 million to the province's cattle producers, helping them out with the crisis.


"It's not anger that I feel among farmers, it's more distress than anger," Gauthier said. "Producers are faced with financial realities that are now catching up with them."


More than 30 countries closed borders to Canadian beef in May after bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the formal name for mad cow, was discovered in a lone Alberta breeder cow.


The crisis has cost exporters more than $1 billion so far, with much of the economic pain felt in Alberta, the heart of the country's cattle industry.
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