Utilizing vaccines to reduce antimicrobial use

Utilizing vaccines to reduce antimicrobial use

By controlling certain viral diseases with vaccination, producers can reduce on-farm antimicrobial usage.

Nesting in enriched cages

Nesting in enriched cages

While multiple studies have uncovered some of what affects nesting and pre-nesting behaviour, much remains to be learned.

Maximizing broiler performance

Maximizing broiler performance

Reaching genetic potential through best management practices.

Grégoy Bédécarrats has spent the better part of a decade studying poultry and how they respond to light. It was during this research that he noticed something unusual: modern laying hens were maturing early and starting to produce eggs while they were still in the pullet barn, and without photo-stimulation, the use artificial light to trigger maturation.
The incidence of occupational injuries and illnesses within the poultry sector’s slaughter and processing workforce has fallen by 84 percent over the last 25 years and continues to decline according to the 2018 Injury and Illness Report recently released by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).The total recordable poultry processing illness and injury rate for 2018 was 3.5 cases per 100 full-time workers (per year), down from 3.8 in 2017. The poultry industry’s rate of 3.5 was below the rate of 5.1 for similar agricultural industries in terms of injuries per 100 full-time workers and lower than the rate of 4.2 for the entire food manufacturing sector, while all of manufacturing was 3.4.Poultry processing’s 2018 rate of 3.5 represents an 84 percent decrease from 1994 (the oldest data available on the BLS website), when the recorded rate was 22.7, demonstrating the vast advancements the industry has made in improving safety for its workforce.“Employee safety has been and will always be a priority for the poultry industry. The industry continues to focus its efforts on the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses, especially musculoskeletal disorders such carpal tunnel syndrome, by acknowledging the benefit of implementing ergonomics and medical intervention principles, while continually implementing new technology and automation in the workplace,” said the Joint Industry Safety and Health Council in a statement regarding the report’s release. “Though the past two decades have shown a notable decrease in the numbers and rates of injury and illnesses, the poultry industry is steadfast in pursuing new and inventive ways to protect our workforce.”The Joint Industry Safety and Health Council consists of members from USPOULTRY, the National Chicken Council and the National Turkey Federation. Collectively, the three organizations represent companies that produce 95 percent of the nation's poultry products and directly employ more than 350,000 workers.“Our employees are our most important asset, and their safety is of paramount importance,” said the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation in response to the report’s release. “Perhaps more than any other industry, the poultry industry has continually focused its energies on the prevention of workplace injuries and illnesses. This most recent data recognizes the excellent safety performance achievements the poultry industry has accomplished. Surpassing the ‘all of manufacturing’ percent is the next milestone our industry hopes to achieve in our continuing quest to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees.”
In the past, managing health in a cage system layer house involved few steps. As many experienced egg producers know, a conventional cage system means small group sizes, climate-controlled houses, lower dust concentration, easy access to feed and water and a lower risk of disease.
Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC)’s antimicrobial use reduction strategy is well thought out and ideally paced. This is evidence of the strong leadership that continues to elevate the importance of responsible use of antibiotics in animal agriculture.
Low uniformity and delayed growth in a flock can have many causes and contributing factors. Are these problems in your barn? Are they recurrent in specific barns despite changing feed or breed?
An Ontario ILT Biosecurity Advisory Area for the eastern part of Norfolk County remains in place.
Cyberbullying by vegan activists is a growing source of stress for farmers and agricultural producers who already face significant mental health challenges linked to the job, a farmer and a psychologist working in the agriculture sector say.
For last year’s Who’s Who issue, we tried something new. We sought nominations for people to be profiled based on a theme – rising poultry stars.
Two biosecurity advisories remain in effect.
Disease found in small backyard flock.
An ILT Disease Biosecurity Advisory Area has been established for a 10 km area east of Simcoe in Norfolk County.
Biosecurity Advisory put in place.
Alltech Canada has introduced ChikPek, a new innovative beak-conditioning aid, featuring palatable and durable qualities that can be introduced throughout any stage of poultry production.ChikPek’s unique formulation diverts the birds’ instinctive pecking behaviour onto the block, maintaining the welfare of the birds.The block is non-medicated, and the non-toxic ingredients and nutrients used in ChikPek are safe to feed to all life stages of poultry and do not interfere with a flock’s regular nutrition program.“The unique formulation of the ChikPek block, with the colour and grains, attracts the birds to the block and focuses pecking on it as opposed to the other birds,” says Dr. Kayla Price, Canadian poultry technical manager at Alltech. “It’s easy to use, and the welfare benefits make it beneficial to poultry producers.”ChikPek is available in an 11.34 kg block and is recommended to be placed in the scratch area and/or other locations the birds frequently visit that are away from excessive moisture.Place the block in an appropriate feeder or on the ground away from excessive moisture and use one block per 300 to 1,000 birds, depending on the activity and aggression level.
Alternative housing options for poultry abound and there are likely more to come as the search for the best housing solutions continues and the Canadian industry inches ever-closer to drawing the curtain on conventional cages.
While on-farm hatching has been a growing trend in Europe for the past 20 years, its adoption in Canada is fairly recent. A few companies have presented hatching systems at poultry events, piquing the curiosity of producers who’ve heard about their benefits.
The decisions on which alternative system to choose is complex for producers, involving a wide range of factors, from market forces to durability. To help you, Canadian Poultry has contacted housing manufacturers to point out particular features of their systems that are unique, and also their best pieces of advice for making your choice.
Cargill this week introduced Feeding Intelligence, a new platform aimed at helping farmers navigate the changing food production landscape while raising awareness of their role as everyday heroes.Feeding Intelligence provides resources for farmers on the latest intelligent production practices aimed at helping them improve their operations. These resources, support and stories of commitment and care are featured on a new website, www.feedingintelligence.com.Farmers can find information on a variety of topics including technological advancement, animal health and well-being, performance, sustainability and much more.
One of the biggest complaints surrounding the poultry barn – apart from flies – is the smell of the manure. The excessive amount of ammonia gas released from poultry manure not only contributes to this smell but can be harmful for both the birds in the barn and the workers who frequent the barn.
Across the country, researchers are evaluating lighting systems for their potential to improve growth, reproductive efficiency, health and welfare. Here are some of their most interesting observations.
It’s been five years since a revolutionary new made-in-Ontario biosecurity system called Be Seen Be Safe (BSBS) debuted. It was joined by its feisty sidekick – an early-warning livestock heath system app called Farm Health Monitor (FHM).
New and emerging mycotoxins can now be analysed by the Alltech 37+ Laboratory. In total, five new mycotoxins have been added to the testing panel, bringing the total number of detectable mycotoxins to 54. These new additions further increase the understanding of mycotoxin occurrence and the potential risk to animal performance.Emerging mycotoxins refers to mycotoxins that are neither routinely analysed nor legislatively regulated. However, research has shown more evidence of their increasing incidence and potential toxicity to animals. The emerging mycotoxins analyzed by Alltech 37+ include beauvericin; moniliformin; enniatins A, A1, B and B1; phomopsin A and alternariol. Fusaric acid also features in this emerging mycotoxin category.“The Alltech 37+ mycotoxin analysis test is the cornerstone of the Alltech Mycotoxin Management program,” explains Nick Adams, global director, mycotoxin management, Alltech. “We now test for 54 mycotoxins. With this new analytical capability, Alltech is better equipped to understand how contaminated feedstuffs might impact animal performance and health.”Due to their toxic properties, mycotoxins are a concern for livestock producers, as they can impact feed quality as well as animal health and performance. Alltech’s 37+ test results provide a realistic picture of mycotoxin contamination in feed ingredients or total mixed rations, speeding up the process of diagnosis, and suggest effective remediation and help move toward an effective mycotoxin control plan.“Since adding these mycotoxins to our analytical capabilities, we have already seen a high frequency of samples with these contaminants,” says Patrick Ward, Ireland analytical services laboratory manager, Alltech. “As we test more samples and accumulate more data, we will strengthen our understanding of these mycotoxins.”Between Alltech’s 37+ mycotoxin analytical services laboratories in Lexington, Kentucky, and Dunboyne, Ireland, they have run over 30,000 samples, each searching for up to 54 mycotoxins in animal feed.
Two major developments on the egg production front are making the transition to alternative layer housing interesting.
Sponsored by USPOULTRY, hatchery and breeder professionals recently gathered in Nashville, Tenn., for a two-day clinic covering a variety of topics focused on best practices in hatchery and breeder management.
Mike McMorris grew up on a farm just north of Guelph, Ont., right across the road from the Elora Beef Research Centre. McMorris brings extensive educational and industry experience to his new role as CEO of the Livestock Research Innovation Corporation (LRIC).
The board of directors of the Poultry Industry Council (PIC) announced today that Ashley Honsberger is the organization's new executive director effective December 2, 2019.Honsberger has worked extensively in the agriculture sector with experience in delivering training and learning events for Ontario farm and agri-food processing businesses. She brings a diverse background that includes experience in capacity building, program development and delivery, family enterprise advising, and non-profit management from her most recent position as Executive Director at the Agri-food Management Institute (AMI)."Ashley's experience and passion will be a great addition to our organization," says Ed Verkley, chair of PIC's board. "Her demonstrated ability to build relationships and develop programs with a broad range of stakeholders will support PIC's vision to be the preferred provider of education extension services and knowledge transfer to support a strong, successful and sustainable poultry industry.""I am incredibly excited to be joining the PIC team as I value their commitment to serving the poultry sector with the information and resources they need on an ongoing basis," Honsberger says. "I look forward to continuing the work of bringing our stakeholders and members together to ensure the sector stays ahead of the curve by being proactive and remaining informed."Honsberger holds a Master's degree in Capacity Development and Extension from the University of Guelph and an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature, Minor in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Waterloo.
A new collaborative research and development project between Cobb-Vantress and The Roslin Institute brought scientists and industry experts together to address food security needs on an international scale.
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. has reduced its emissions and invested in environmental projects to become carbon neutral in an effort to be the world's most sustainable protein company and meet consumer demand for corporate responsibility on climate change.''If you hear some excitement and pride in my voice, you're not mistaken. This is an enormous milestone on our sustainability journey,'' said Michael McCain, CEO, during a conference call Thursday.The company announced earlier in the day that it believes it is the first major food company in the world to be carbon neutral.''I have no doubt that there are some smaller food companies in some corners of the world that have taken this position as well,'' said McCain. But Maple Leaf believes it's the first of large-scale food enterprises that are publicly traded to achieve this milestone.Since 2015, the company has made significant strides in cutting its environmental footprint in half by 2025 through reducing its electricity intensity by 24 per cent, water intensity by 16 per cent, solid waste intensity by 22 per cent and greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 14 per cent, he said.Maple Leaf also invested in environmental projects in Canada and the United States to help offset the emissions that are beyond its control and it cannot cut.The projects will support wind energy, forest protection and re-forestry, as well as the reduction and recovery of methane gas emissions.These emissions targets and investments come at a cost.''Taking care of the planetary needs of the future is not free,'' said McCain, but the company is banking on it paying off.''The investments that we're making are going to drive returns – not just to our business, but to the planet.''The company partly made the decision to help fight against climate change, said McCain, because it's clear to Maple Leaf and all its stakeholders that the world is facing a climate crisis.''It's a crisis that requires action today.''Earlier this week, a scientific journal published an open letter signed by thousands of scientists from around the world, including 409 from Canada, to show a near-unanimous agreement of the climate crisis.''We declare ... clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency,'' the letter opened.Climate protests have ramped up in the past years, most recently with Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg leading a global strike for climate change in September.Canadians from St. John's to Victoria, and as far north as Inuvik in the Northwest Territories, came out to protest on Sept. 27, calling for immediate government action on climate change.McCain said he's ''optimistic'' that a significant portion of the public will want to buy food products made by a carbon-neutral company.Increasingly, consumers align themselves with brands behaving responsibly, he said.The company thinks enough of these environmentally conscious shoppers will support Maple Leaf over time to turn this commitment into a good outcome for the company's shareholders as well.
Nancy Fischer is the 2019 recipient of the Poultry Service Industry Award, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the Canadian poultry industry. The award was presented at the Poultry Service Industry Workshop (PSIW) in Banff, Alta.“I am very pleased and humbled to receive this award,” said Fischer, a nutritionist at Country Junction Feeds, working with poultry, swine and other species, who is well known and respected across the industry. “I am fortunate to work with a great team and with an excellent network of partners, customers and colleagues across the industry. It’s very rewarding and I’m proud to have help contributed to and champion the success of Canadian poultry. We have a great industry poultry business here with a strong history and a bright future. I’m proud of the progress we have made together as an industry and excited for the next chapters to come. Thank you to everyone.”The Poultry Service Industry Award is presented annually at the PSIW. The nominee must be a service person who has supported the poultry industry and has demonstrated a high level of skill and knowledge in the industry.“I have been honoured to work with Nancy for over 17 years and she is very deserving of this award,” said Darrell Kimmel, manager of Country Junction Feeds, who made the award presentation at PSIW. “Nancy started her dedication to the poultry industry back in early 2000's when she received her PhD at the University of Saskatchewan. Since that time Nancy has not taken her foot off the pedal and has pushed herself and many of us to look at better ways and changes to support and grow our poultry industry.”Fischer was nominated for the award by Poultry Partners and Nutrition Partners, who are a key partner of Country Junction Feeds, noting “She has a true passion for the industry and does a lot to promote it” serving with numerous programs and boards ranging from classroom agriculture programs to major industry bodies such as the Animal Nutrition Association of Canada and the Poultry Science Association.Away from work, in her spare time, Nancy is a dedicated mother of three busy children teenagers that take her and her husband Al to hockey, figure skating, football games, baseball and golf. “It's not uncommon to see Nancy strap on the hockey skates to play a game or two herself,” said Kimmel. Nancy also coaches hockey and power skating.“Nancy you are a dedicated and valuable member of our Country Junction Feeds team and on behalf of myself and our management and staff we want to congratulate you on this award,” said Kimmel. “Thank you for all that you have done for the poultry industry.”
In February of 2016, Egg Farmers of Canada announced their intention to transition from conventional to alternative housing systems. At that time, it is estimated that 90 per cent of Canada’s hens were housed in conventional cages. Today, producers are slowly making the transition to enriched, free-range, free-run and aviary-style housing.
During the International Egg Commission Global Leadership Conference, held September 22 to 26 in Copenhagen, Denmark, Canadian Peter Clarke was named International Egg Person of the Year.The award recognizes individuals who contribute to a thriving future for the egg industry.Clarke, who owns Skyview Farms in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley with his wife, has been active advocating for the industry both nationally and internationally.In a press release, Egg Farmers of Canada CEO and IEC president Tim Lambert highlighted some of Clarke's achievements.“Peter’s dedication to agriculture runs deep, and his passion for the egg industry is very apparent,” Lambert says. “Throughout Peter’s farming career, he has been a regular on numerous industry organisation boards showcasing his commitment to the success of the wider industry.”Lambert presided as chair of Egg Farmers of Canada from 2001 to 2007, where he helped to guide the organization towards notable achievements, such as launching a Canada-wide on‐farm food safety program. He also helped set a new course for egg farmers in Canada through a national housing transition to phase out conventional production methods as well as created several research chairs within universities, which continue to focus on key issues facing egg producers in Canada.“Peter firmly believes in the concept of social license, and that as farmers we owe it to consumers to be transparent about how our foods produced, sharing knowledge of what producers do on farm, which has contributed significantly to the success of the industry in Canada,” Lambert adds.“He was instrumental in helping to bring egg production to Project Canaan in eSwatini through his work with the International Egg Foundation and is a very worthy recipient of the Denis Wellstead Award.”For an in depth profile of Clarke, click here.
Barn Spotlight highlights new and retrofitted barns and hatcheries. Do you know a good candidate to be featured? Let us know at
It’s been just over a year since I, Egg Farmerette, did any writing about our enriched colony housing barn. So, here’s an update on our experiences since our first flock hen placement.
Just minutes from the main core of Sudbury, Ont., nestled in an area known as Blezard Valley, you’ll find Triple Star Acres Farm, owned and operated by Ginette Simon-Labine and her husband, Pete Labine.
When brothers Christian and Gislain Houle were growing up on their parents’ poultry farm near Drummondville, Que., the trucks that brought feed for the family’s egg and broiler birds always left empty on the return trip to the local feed mill.
After six years as executive director, Keith Robbins has left Poultry Industry Council to become general manager of the Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers.PIC is actively seeking his replacement.“I have truly enjoyed my time at PIC and the many contacts made with the industry representatives,” Robbins said in a parting statement.“This is a very dynamic and innovative sector that has moved the bars in an number of areas.”A Centralia College grad with an agricultural business management diploma, Robbins joined PIC after 20 years with Ontario Pork.Since joining the council in 2013, membership increased by 30 per cent, organizational revenues increased by 20 per cent, event attendance grew by 11 per cent and sponsorships grew threefold.“We have also seen consistent growth at the National Poultry Show by eight per cent each year while still being the show that producers attend to make their business grow,” Robbins noted.
Dr. Drew Benson and colleagues from the University of Georgia recently completed a research project where he investigated how alternative feeding regimes and the shortening of the rearing period of broiler breeders could be economically beneficial to the poultry industry. Research showed that age at sexual maturity in broiler breeder pullets can be significantly advanced with the use of a less restrictive growth curve during rearing to reach target body weight and surpass the trigger for sexual maturation as early as 15 weeks of age.For a summary of this research, click here.
The Canadian Poultry Research Council (CPRC) approved funding for the first welfare research project it co-funded in 2006. That project investigated poultry transportation issues with the objective of identifying approaches to minimize stress on the birds during shipping and transportation.
When poultry become sick, injured or exposed to the risk of disease it may become necessary for farmers to perform an effective and humane cull. Some of the methods currently available include cervical dislocation, carbon dioxide and the use of non-penetrating captive bolt devices.
Researchers at Iowa State University recently looked at using black UV light to improve air quality in poultry barns.Jacek Koziel and colleagues have completed a research project where they developed and tested a novel mitigation technology for ammonia and odour concentrations and barn emissions.The researchers combined black UV light and a special chemical coating for barn ceilings, barn walls and barn exhaust fans.Results of this research project showed a reduction in gaseous emissions utilizing this novel approach.For a summary of their research, click here.
As part of the Poultry Science Cluster III projects, Egg Farmers of Canada (EFC) has sponsored important laying-hen welfare research led by Tina Widowski at the University of Guelph. The project is titled Identifying developmental determinants of successful behavioural adaptation and musculoskeletal health of egg-laying hens.
In a recent column, I shared one agvocate’s call to arms. As a refresher, dairy farmer Andrew Campbell has been speaking at poultry events from coast to coast urging producers in supply managed sectors to raise awareness about the value of the system.
Eating chicken puts consumers at a higher risk of a rare form of blood cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, as well as prostate cancer in men, according to researchers from Oxford University.The research involved tracking 475,000 middle-aged Britons over a period of eight years between 2006 and 2014.Their diets were analysed alongside the diseases and illnesses they suffered with.Around 23,000 of them developed cancer.For the full story, click here.
Multidrug-resistant Salmonella was detected twice as often in samples of meat from conventionally-raised chicken and turkeys compared with antibiotic-free or organic poultry, according to findings from a study conducted in Pennsylvania.According to a second study presented at the conference, almost one-third of Salmonella-contaminated poultry, ground beef and pork chop samples were resistant to three or more antibiotics and more than one in six were resistant to five or more antibiotics.For the full story, click here.
Amit Morey in the Department of Poultry Science at Auburn University recently completed a research project where he evaluated a hand-held bioelectric impedance device for its ability to detect broiler breast fillets affected with the woody breast condition.The device was found to be able to successfully differentiate severely affected fillets from normal fillets by analyzing the electrical properties of the meat.This technique may be used by plant personnel to more accurately sort breast fillets.For the research summary, click here.
Elizabeth Bobeck and colleagues at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, recently completed a research project in which they examined the feasibility of using a novel laser device in a broiler house to stimulate enhanced bird activity.
While many people now keep chickens or ducks in their backyards, there has been little research into how many of these birds are carrying dangerous pathogens or what flock owners are doing to prevent pathogens from spreading until now.University of Guelph (U of G) researchers are the first to uncover that many Ontario backyard birds are carrying dangerous pathogens, and a significant number of flock owners are not following proper hygiene practices.“This is the first study to look at the health status of small flocks in Ontario,” says Leonardo Susta, who works in the Department of Pathobiology at U of G’s Ontario Veterinary College.Conducted in collaboration with colleagues at U of G’s Animal Health Laboratory (AHL) and OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Food and Rural Affairs), the research was published in two papers in the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation.The team asked small flock owners to voluntarily submit any birds who died on their properties to AHL for a post-mortem examination. They also asked the owners to fill out a questionnaire about their infection-control practices.They received 245 specimens from 160 flocks. Most of the flocks consisted of 25 or fewer chickens kept for the purpose of laying eggs for family use.Infectious diseases were the most common killer, the team found, causing 62 per cent of deaths. Mixed respiratory disease (caused by a combination of bacteria, viruses and fungi) was found to be the primary cause of death in 21 per cent of the birds, and Marek’s disease, which causes fatal tumours, caused 11 per cent of the deaths.In addition to these pathogens, the research team also found a number of chickens with Mycoplasma, a bacterium that causes respiratory disease.“This is a disease that is rarely seen in commercial flocks, yet one in five birds in this study were carrying the pathogen,” Susta says.The researchers also found several birds with Campylobacter, a bacterium that can lead to severe food poisoning in humans.“The fact that we found so much Campylobacter is a testament to the fact that biosecurity measures need to be followed,” he says.The questionnaires revealed that while some flock owners had good knowledge of proper hygiene practices when interacting with the birds, many were not taking enough precautions to avoid the spread of disease.“We wouldn’t expect backyard chicken owners to apply the same biosecurity practices used with commercial flocks, but there are certainly steps that flock owners should be taking,” Susta says.Fewer than 50 per cent of owners reported having dedicated shoes or clothing for entering their poultry coops or barns, less than five per cent reported using a foot bath, and more than 60 per cent reported allowing visitors into the coop or barn, which is not recommended.“Many also allowed their birds to stray outside the coop or barn, where they might have access to wild birds or their habitats,” Susta says.Wild birds are considered potential reservoirs of many pathogens, and increased contact between birds could allow the spread of several infections, including avian influenza.Only 37 per cent of owners who said they bought their birds from hatcheries answered that their birds were vaccinated at hatch — a key step that could prevent several diseases including Marek’s disease.Given that this was a “passive surveillance” research project in which all participation was voluntary, the researchers say the flocks they tested may not be representative of all small flocks within the province.However, Susta said the fact that they uncovered the presence of certain worrisome pathogens is cause for the concern.“These results underscore the importance of flock owners obtaining birds from reputable sources, of monitoring birds for illness, and of practising proper sanitation and hand hygiene to protect both the birds and the public.”
Dr. Ken Macklin and Dr. Sarge Bilgili from Auburn University recently completed a research project where they studied the ability of Salmonella enteritidis (SE) and Salmonella heidelberg (SH) to colonize and persist in various tissues and organs of broilers inoculated by various routes and at different ages.They found that feeding broilers continuously with feed contaminated with a low level of either SE or SH resulted in every bird being contaminated.Additionally, they found that aerosol exposure was efficient in establishing colonization of SE and SH in broilers.Their results also showed that broilers could potentially become colonized by Salmonella at any time during their lives.For a research summary, click here.
Egg Farmers of Canada is proud to announce a partnership with Denny’s Restaurants Canada, who now feature the Egg Quality Assurance (EQA) certification mark on their menus in restaurants across the country.
China is lifting a five-year ban on U.S. poultry, a goodwill gesture at a time when the world's two biggest economies are trying to finalize a tentative trade deal.China had blocked U.S. poultry imports a month after an outbreak of avian influenza in December 2014, closing off a market that bought more than $500 million worth of American chicken, turkey and other poultry products in 2013.For the full story, click here.
Whether it’s attributes such as flavour or texture, perceptions of health benefits, more availability or other reasons, demand among consumers for Canadian organic poultry products is growing.
The Ontario government will consider all options including new legislation to shield farmers from animal rights activists, the province's agriculture ministry said Friday.The assurances from Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman's office come as livestock producers press for action to prosecute those who trespass on their properties and aggressively protest at processing plants.Ministry spokesman Avi Yufest said the government shares the producers' concerns following a number of high-profile protests in the past year.He said the government is meeting with farmers and other stakeholders to come up with a strategy which could include legislation.''(The Minister) is working hard to protect the safety and security of our farmers, our food processors and the sector as a whole so nothing is off the table at this time,'' Yufest said in a statement.Demonstrations from animal rights activists often violate the biosecurity of farms or trucks delivering livestock to a processing plant, putting the province's food system at risk, Yufest said.The consultations come after a number of farming groups called on the government to hold animal rights activists who break the law accountable.In May, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture – speaking on behalf of eight livestock producer associations – expressed disappointment when charges were dropped against an animal rights activist who allegedly trespassed on a Lucan, Ont., hog barn and took two animals.''Our system of law and order is based on consequences for breaking the law,'' Federation spokesman Keith Currie said at the time. ''Without meaningful prosecutions that act as a deterrent to future crimes, activists become bolder in their actions.''Yufest could not immediately provide details of the government's plan or say how the current laws are falling short.''Those are questions we're looking to answer with these consultations,'' he said.The executive director of animal protection group Animal Justice said Hardeman's comments are troubling and could result in the government trampling activists' rights.''What we've seen time and time again is that governments are friendly to farmers and willing to crack down and violate the civil liberties of animal advocates,'' Camille Labchuk said. ''It helps them hide the reality of what they do to animals.''Activists are pushing the boundaries of the law more often because the province's animal protection laws aren't strong enough, she said.''The reason that we're seeing animal advocates going onto farms is because it's the only way for them to see the conditions animals are kept without any regulations, without any government inspections,'' she said. ''The public has no way of understanding what happens on farms so citizens are taking these matters into their own hands.''Ontario Pork chairman Eric Schwindt said livestock producers across all sectors are subject to strict rules and inspections in order to ensure animals are treated safely and humanely.''We have high standards of animal care, food safety, biosecurity and we abide by the Canadian code of practice,'' he said. ''We are overseen by veterinarians. We're in agriculture because we love working with animals so we look after them well.''Schwindt, who operates a pig farm near Aylmer, Ont., said he's glad to hear the government is considering taking action but said a balance needs to be achieved between the needs of farmers and activists' right to free speech.''We understand the right to protest,'' Schwindt said. ''If you're on public property that's fine. But we firmly believe that people shouldn't be allowed to take our property or harass our families or employees.''This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2019.
Egg Farmers of Canada is excited to announce the launch of the new Eggs Anytime marketing platform. The ads show Canadians that ‘it’s not weird’ to have eggs for lunch and dinner.
Canadian dairy farmers who lost domestic market share resulting from free trade agreements with Europe and countries on the Pacific Rim will share $1.75 billion in compensation over the next eight years, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced Friday.
Canada's Agriculture Minister, Marie-Claude Bibeau, reinforced her commitment to supply management at the Dairy Farmers of Canada AGM in Saskatoon this week.During her announcement of over $11 million of Government funding for the Dairy Research Cluster Tuesday, July 16, Bibeau touched on the Government's plan to compensate supply managed producers.The Government included a $3.9 billion compensation package in the 2019 budget, with up to $2.4 billion to sustain the incomes of producers, as well as up to $1.5 billion to protect against any reduction in quota value.They say they've been working hard with industry working groups to finalize these delivery mechanisms.For the full story, click here.
The Chinese Embassy said Tuesday it has asked Canada to suspend all meat exports, a surprise move that comes amid the diplomatic dispute over the December arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver.
When companies and organizations talk about sustainability, they generally focus on three different aspects: environmental, economic and social. Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) released their Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for the Canadian chicken industry in 2018, providing a glimpse of the chicken industry over the past 40 years in all three categories.
Third-generation farmer Ron Lamb remembers his father pulling six-metre-wide crop-seeding equipment around his southern Alberta grain fields in the 1990s, overlapping on each pass to make sure he covered all the ground.
This week, Canadian egg, chicken, turkey and hatching egg farmers co-hosted their annual pop-up diner in downtown Ottawa. The event is a special celebration of Canadian farming families and the system of supply management that provides year-round access to fresh, local, high-quality ingredients from coast to coast.
Canada has fired the starting gun on the race to ratify the new North American free-trade pact – but the United States is setting the pace.

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