Mobilization to evacuate hundreds of farm animals

Mobilization to evacuate hundreds of farm animals

Mobilization to e ;evacuate hundreds of farm animals

There is a surge of solidarity between farmers in the region to move many farm animals in the context of the forest fires.

Agricultural producers and transporters of the region Abitibi-Témiscamingue are helping to evacuate farm animals in the context of forest fires.

Although it is difficult for the Union of Agricultural Producers (UPA) in Abitibi-Témiscamingue to assess the exact number of relocated animals, we know that there are hundreds of cattle, chickens, pigs and horses that have been moved so far.

The evacuated animals come mainly from farms located in the municipalities of Normétal, Dupuy, La Reine and Saint-Lambert , in Abitibi West.

There are producers who are ready to accommodate 30, 40 or 50, others less. There are even producers who raised their hands in Témiscamingue if there was a lack of space, underlines the president of the UPA in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Pascal Rheault.

Des cows and their calves are transported to producers further south where the forest fires are raging, near Palmarolle and Cloutier, in particular.

Audrey Drouin, from the SG farm Noël SENC, coordinates part of the operations and has received 200 cattle so far in its facilities in La Sarre and Sainte-Germaine-Boulé.

The agricultural producer makes no secret of it: a lot of effort is put in by everyone involved.

“We puts our daily work aside and we are everyone with our trucks and our trailers, one behind the other. We fill the trailers and transport. If today the fire advances or retreats, it will be necessary to evacuate possibly 500 animals. It's gonna be a big day. »

— Audrey Drouin, farmer

Some cows are more nervous to get on a trailer and others are in their birthing period, which complicates movement. Some are in the process of having their calves and that requires supervision. This is a huge stress for the animals, notes Ms. Drouin.

For his part, Pascal Rheault is worried about the repercussions for producers.

“Returning to normal is going to be extremely difficult. There are costs to that. Producers are currently bearing enormous costs. We therefore hope that the governments will support us in this financially. »

—  Pascal Rheault, president of the regional UPA

Producers who have to relocate their herds, like those who house them, have to deal with additional expenses in food, wages and transportation.

Hay remains a concern for agricultural producers. It's dry for everyone. Hay does not grow. We are going to have problems this summer, even if there were no fires at the moment, warns Audrey Drouin.

The regional UPA has launched an appeal to all on his Facebook page to find hay to feed the evacuated cows. Farmers from across Quebec responded to the publication.

Herds of cattle relocated to other farms are separated from others to avoid contamination as much as possible.