OTTAWA, Ontario – Canada’s Abattoir Competitiveness Program is accepting applications until Jan. 31 from cattle producers wanting to participate in marketing over-thirty-month-old cattle to processors.

"Canadian beef producers and processors drive our economy and create jobs," said Gerry Ritz, agriculture minister. "This investment from Canada's Economic Action Plan will help give producers a market for their older cattle, while building a strong, competitive meat processing sector for the future. This program is a perfect example of what Canada's Economic Action Plan was designed to do – help our producers and processors maintain a key part of our economy and build a stronger country for all Canadians."

The Abattoir Competitiveness Program was developed from the Agricultural Flexibility fund and provides a one-year, up to $25 million (US$25.3 million) investment designed to help cattle slaughterhouses maintain critical capacity in Canada for OTM cattle while the industry undertakes efforts to become more innovative and competitive when dealing with specified risk material (SRM).

"We all know that the sector has faced major challenges in the past years,” said Jean-Pierre Blackburn, minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture). “Our government has always been sensitive to the difficulties experienced by producers and responded with efficient and concrete measures, like the Abattoir Competitiveness Program, which help our meat processors across Canada invest to become even more competitive".

Federally, provincially and territorially inspected cattle slaughter facilities that slaughtered over-thirty-month-old (OTM) cattle in Canada during 2009 and 2010 calendar years are eligible for support based on their 2010 production of specified risk material (SRM) from OTM cattle in Canada. Applicants who did not apply for an initial payment may apply for a final payment, but on the basis of their production of SRM from OTM cattle during the final payment period only, which is between July 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2010.

Completed application forms must be received by the administration no later than 11:59 p.m. (PST) on Jan. 31. Any applications received after this date will not be considered. Deadline extensions for the final payment phase of the program will not be granted.

For more information on the Abattoir Competitiveness Program and how to apply,, call 1 (877) 290-2188 or