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Eligible products include plants, trees and vines grown as commercial crops, as well as farmed livestock, including beef cattle.

New Brunswick farmers could soon be compensated for livestock losses and crop damage caused by wildlife.

The provincial and federal governments have created a new Wildlife Damage Compensation Program, which will be cost-shared.

Premier David Alward announced the program on Thursday, during the annual general meeting of the Agricultural Alliance of New Brunswick.

Farmers will be able to apply for compensation beginning in April, he said.

Eligible products will include plants, trees and vines grown as commercial crops, as well as farmed livestock, including dairy and beef cattle, sheep, goats, beehives and beehive contents.

Livestock damages eligible for compensation must be caused by black bears, foxes, coyotes, ravens, crows or birds of prey. Damage caused by dogs is excluded.

The Agricultural Producers of New Brunswick had lobbied the provincial government for such a program for years.

New Brunswick was the only province in the country without one, the group had said.