The BC Ministry of Agriculture has revealed the latest numbers in terms of how many farm animals died due to floods in the province, and so far 628,000 poultry, 420 dairy cows, and 12,000 hogs are estimated to have lost their lives.
Earlier reports from BC officials suggested that thousands of animals would lose their lives, but these new numbers far exceed initial projections.
The announcement was made by Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham at a news conference on Thursday afternoon.
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Weather is expected to clear up, which will allow crews to work to remove the carcasses of these animals.
Right now, 819 farms are still under active evacuation.
“The work by farmers and volunteers and companies to clean out barns and to remove those animals continues to be extremely heartbreaking,” said Popham. Donation centres are currently being set up to help with feed and supplies.
Work is being done in Abbotsford and the Nicola Valley to relocate animals, and make sure they have enough feed to make it through the winter.
BC’s Ministry of Agriculture is working with the federal government on a recovery package for farmers to help them return to production.
“We’re still in the process of quantifying losses, whether it be animal crops or plant crops, and we hope to firm up those numbers as the waters recede,” added Popham.
Adding to the farm animals that died in BC, 110 beehives were submerged in the floods.
Popham also highlighted fears for blueberry growers who saw some of their plants impacted by floods, but an expert in the field suggested that his plants were underwater on and off every winter, and he still feels like they’re still quite strong. She went onto say that if you want to support farmers, there are millions of pounds of frozen blueberries in the system that BC residents can buy.