VICTORIA, B.C. – With the risk of wildfire increasing across the province, livestock owners are reminded to register with the Premises Identification program.

In 2017, the program helped around 200 ranchers get to their animals in evacuation zones during the wildfire season, saving hundreds of lives.

“We experienced the hottest temperature ever recorded in Canada this week, the forests are dry and the risk of wildfires is very, very real,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.

“Having a Premises ID helped B.C. ranchers protect their animals during the intense wildfires of 2017 and 2018, and it could help you this year too.”

Ranchers and livestock owners with a Premises ID can better respond to emergencies that could impact their land or stock. Individuals can be given notice of weather events that could put their land or animals at risk, and the ID makes it easier to access their animals in evacuation zones.

Personal information can only be used to plan for, or respond to animal disease or emergency events that would affect the health of animals. Information cannot be shared with third parties.

There is no cost to use the program, and registration can be easily completed online or by mail. The province recommends producers register land anywhere animals are kept, handled, assembled, or disposed of. Beekeepers can now register their apiaries through the program.

Around two-thirds of livestock producers and 100 per cent of supply-managed livestock premises are currently registered in the program.

This year is likely the final year of voluntary participation in the program. A new Premises ID regulation under the B.C. Animal Health Act is coming for 2022.