Cowichan – Livestock Relocation & Management Plan [cw10]
|Status||completed in 2017|
|Project Lead||Cowichan Valley Regional District – Public Safety Division|
|Funding Partners||Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, BC Ministry of Agriculture, Cowichan Valley Regional District|
Download and read the project summary as a PDF: Planning for Livestock Safety During Extreme Events.
The Cowichan Extreme Weather Events Preparedness & Mitigation Pilot Project brought Cowichan producers together to discuss preparedness for extreme events. An issue that was of particular interest to many producers in attendance was how to manage livestock in the case of an extreme event, such as a wildfire.
The Cowichan has several types of livestock operations including dairy and mixed livestock. With the diversity of livestock operations in the region, no single approach to extreme events will be suitable. Dairy animals can’t be relocated to a central location as they require on-going milking. Other types of livestock may benefit from regionally designated sites for relocation and still others may require plans for how to manage animals on-site.
This project developed relocation/management plans (including separate considerations for dairy operations) at the regional scale and also developed and tested a template for livestock relocation and management planning at the farm scale, for use where a site-level approach is more suitable. Relocation plans consider coordination of transportation and feed requirements and integrate provincial level initiatives where possible. A summary version of the relocation plans and the transferable planning template was disseminated via agriculture sector organizations, and a workshop was coordinated to share templates developed and to raise awareness of regional relocation plans/initiatives.
A subsequent project in the Okanagan integrated the strongest elements of the Cowichan emergency planning template with new modules and content to create a comprehensive farm-level Wildfire Preparedness and Mitigation Planning Workbook and Guide for use by all types of agricultural operations (i.e., not specific to livestock). This workbook and guide can be used by all producers (large and small) and consists of a series of modules focusing on planning/activities to undertake before a wildfire, during a wildfire and after a wildfire and includes new sections such as evacuation of visitors and staff, insurance and on-farm water sources. Cowichan producers are encouraged to use the provincial template, available at the Okanagan Planning & Information Exchange for Wildfire Impact Reduction project page, and may wish to reference the original Cowichan Livestock Relocation & Management Plan project for Cowichan-specific contact information and resources.