Ag Minister Wants PEI Compensated

Published online: May 24, 2001
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Prince Edward Island Canada Agriculture Minister Mitch Murphy has asked the federal government to compensate landowners whose fields have been quarantined indefinitely following the detection of potato wart in a small section of one field last October.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency placed an immediate quarantine on all fields within a 0.5-kilometer radius, a buffer zone involving more than 700 acres of land.

Murphy said other producers have been affected as well because of measures put in place on those fields where the same equipment was used last year on the infected fields. Producers can only grow potatoes for processing, and all equipment must be cleaned and disinfected after each use.

"My department is working closely with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to help affected producers deal with these measures," said Murphy. "I hope these restrictions are for the immediate term only, and that the federal government will be successful in negotiating a more reasonable agreement with the United States."

Murphy said that although the infected field will be permanently taken out of production, surrounding or contact fields do not pose any risk of spreading the potato wart fungus.