For more information regarding provincial Acts and Regulations, please visit the Alberta Queen's Printer.
This Act sets out the framework for the establishment of an Agricultural Services Board (ASB). The act outlines what activities the ASB will undertake and be compensated for in part by Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. These duties include; weed and pest control, soil and water conservation, assisting in the monitoring of animal diseases, encouraging sustainable agriculture to improve the economic viability of producers and creating agricultural policies that meet the needs of the municipality. The ASB has the ability under this legislation to establish advisory committees in any capacity related to agriculture that the County sees fit. It is also in this act that a Director of Agricultural Services is hired and is to take direction from the Board and carry out the functions and policies as set by the Board.
The Weed Control Act has a great history in Alberta and has been proclaimed in one version or another for over a century (initially in 1907). First established to limit the effects of Canada Thistles on agricultural land, and then as time went on and increasingly weeds started to become a problem, the focus was expanded.
The current Weed Control Act was updated in 2010 and has a total of 48 Prohibited Noxious weeds and 30 Noxious weeds. In the Act, municipalities have the authority to elevate weeds to either noxious or prohibited noxious based on local needs. For this reason, the County of Newell has elevated scentless chamomile, leafy spurge, and dodder to the prohibited noxious category, and have elevated common burdock, common milkweed, and showy milkweed to the noxious category.
Click here for more information on Prohibited Noxious and Noxious weeds.
The Agricultural Pests Act provides authority for the Minister to declare as a pest or nuisance any animal, bird, insect, plant, or disease is destroying or harming or is likely to damage or harm any land, livestock or property in all or part of Alberta. The legislation enables inspectors and local authorities to deal with native and introduced pests and nuisances which affect agricultural production. Under this act, the County operates many programs for the effective and efficient control of pests. They range in scope from gophers to coyotes to crop diseases, but all are a necessity to allow the agriculture industry to thrive within our borders.
Pest surveys are an integral part of the process and are completed on an annual basis with the cooperation of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development (the department responsible for this Act). Each year the County monitors for grasshoppers, coyotes, Bacterial Ring Rot, Clubroot and Fusarium Graminearum.
The County also rents specialized equipment to aid producers in implementing integrated pest management plans. For a full listing of the County rental equipment, please refer to Rental Equipment page.
This Act imposes a duty upon every landholder to respond appropriately to prevent soil loss or deterioration or to mitigate the same where it has occurred. Where a breach of said duty occurs, the landowner may be served with a notice directing him or her to take remedial action within a specified time – usually 30 days. If the landholder fails to comply with the directions given in the notice, a person authorized by the local authority may enter upon the land and take remedial action at the landholder’s expense. If the local authority does not take appropriate measures, then the Minister can appoint an officer with authority to do so. The legislation also provides appeal and dispute settlement mechanisms.
The intent of the legislation is to put in place both the necessary infrastructure and traceability systems that are designed to increase the capability of a rapid-response about threats of disease outbreaks affecting animal health, public health, food safety and market access. The Chief Provincial Veterinarian of Alberta (CPV) is given authority to play a lead role in animal disease response.