By Justin Seward
For third-generation Jenner rancher Brad Osadczuk that late September day came as a shock for him and his family after they found out one of his cattle slaughtered in the United States had tested positive for Bovine Tuberculosis (Bovine TB).
“My livelihood is lost,” said Osadczuk.
“I have no cattle on my ranch. It’s like having a grocery store with no food in it to sell. We’re starting over and dealing with compensation with the Canadian Foods Inspections Agency (CFIA) and it’s been a long battle.”
Now months later, Osadczuk’s now has to rebuild his livestock through a treaty and an auction mart, where they will periodically buy cattle to build the herd back up.
However, there are only certain times of the year that breeding stock is available for purchase, which is between the end of November and into December and in the spring, where a rancher can purchase a cow-calf spring but the volume is scarce.
“There’s 18 of us who have destruction of cattle in the Jenner area and we all need to find cattle,” said Osadczuk.
“There’s virtually not enough cattle for us in Alberta. It’s going to be a tough, long process. It’s going to take years to rebuild our herd. In the meantime we don’t have any source of income. We just look to care for each other and make sure our neighbours are doing okay, and stick close to family.”
Osadczuk has been keeping busy with the political side of the Bovine TB and making sure his ranch is being taken care of properly and nothing is being missed in the process.
Meanwhile, Hilda rancher Tom Herman said he has gained more confidence with the CFIA as they moved along with their testing process and they are doing a good job of handling the testing.
“They’re doing their job,” said Herman.
“I’m going to be very confident with Jenner cattle, being all closely inspected and looked over so close, that these cattle should be as good as any other cattle in Alberta.”
He mentioned that it was unfortunate for Bovine TB to show up in Jenner because the cattle aren’t crowded with the big areas and the short grass.
His ranch was never at risk because there was 20 to 30 miles of land and a river that separated them from the next closest ranch.
Osadczuk’s cattle were picked up and taken out to be slaughtered, and immediately his land was put under quarantine. His compensation claim is still being processed.