KAMLOOPS — The B.C. government is beefing up highway safety by extending the provincial Livestock Fencing Program another five years.
The program is a partnership between the Province and the BC Cattlemen's Association (BCCA) and will be supported with $1 million annually through the five years.
Since the program started in 2010, $16 million has been invested in the program with more than 900 kilometres of livestock fencing built along B.C. highways.
And during that time, the BCCA says cattle fatalities by road and rail incidents have steadily decreased from 92 in 2011 to 21 last year.
"There is no doubt in my mind that the fencing program is responsible for the drastic reduction in the number of cattle lost to ranchers and farmers," said BCAA General Manager Kevin Boon. "This partnership with the Province for five more years will allow us to keep more of our livestock out of harm's way, but more importantly, it helps keep the travelling public safe."
Livestock owners who are seeking assistance to build fences adjacent to highways can make applications to the BCCA.
Applications are reviewed by a committee, and projects are selected based on several factors, including current fence condition, livestock headcount and highway designation.
Victoria has also invested $6.2 million to support the replacement of livestock fencing since last summer's devastating wildfires.
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