Canadian Poultry Magazine

CPRC Update: April 2014

By CPRC   

Features Genetics Research Poultry Research Research

Poultry Science Cluster – Version 2

Minister Gerry Ritz announced that Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) will contribute $4 million to Canadian poultry research under the AgriInnovation Program (AIP), part of Growing Forward 2.  The announcement was made at Kay House at the Arkell Poultry Research Station, University of Guelph on Feb. 18. Funding will support a Poultry Science Cluster, which CPRC will administer. CPRC was the recipient of funding for research for a previous Poultry Science Cluster under the first Growing Forward program that concluded March 31, 2013.

A “cluster” brings together multidisciplinary teams of scientists to solve complex problems and to create synergies in research efforts. It is a way to make the most of available resources and supports a strong business case for investing in Canadian poultry research. Pooling intellectual and financial resources to address issues of common interest is a powerful way to maximize the impact of our collective investment in research.

Total funding of almost $5.6 million, including industry contributions of $1.45 million and the balance from government, will support 17 research activities on four themes that reflect industry priorities as identified in the National Research Strategy for Canada’s Poultry Sector, available at under the Research tab. Cluster research themes include:


Poultry Infectious Diseases, as they impact poultry health and/or zoonosis (four activities).

Alternative Animal Health Products and Management Strategies that enhance avian immune function and mitigate the impact of infectious pathogens while displacing the need for traditional antimicrobials (four activities).

Poultry Welfare and Wellbeing throughout the production chain, as impacted by early immune function, bird harmony within various alternate farm production systems, bird stocking density, and the effects of temperature extremes during live bird transport (five activities).

Environmental Stewardship as impacted by emissions of particulate matter, ammonia and greenhouse gases and their effect on poultry, poultry workers and the industry’s environmental footprint (four activities).

Anticipated outcomes of the Cluster research include:

  • As an extension of work accomplished in the first Poultry Science Cluster, an increased understanding of the biology of necrotic enteritis (NE) and continued progress towards an effective vaccine that can be used to complement current NE-management strategies
  • Optimization and validation of a prototype avian influenza vaccine and vaccine delivery method developed in the first Cluster
  • Multimedia training tools on biosecurity principles and measures made available to Canadian poultry producers
  • Demonstration of several alternatives to traditional antimicrobials used in the poultry industry
  • Information for the egg layer industry on the impact of genetics and management on productivity and general wellbeing of hens in alternative production systems
  • Information for the broiler industry on strategies to monitor foot pad dermatitis and mitigate its effects
  • Information for the turkey industry and development of best practices regarding stocking density in the production setting and management of conditions during live transport
  • Further reductions of the environmental footprint of commercial poultry production

The 17 research activities will be conducted by 59 researchers from 24 organizations. These organizations include 11 universities (four international); five government departments (federal and provincial) representing both agriculture and human health; and eight companies involved in poultry research. Each research activity is led by a Principal Investigator from a Canadian university.

The Poultry Science Cluster provides capacity to resolve many current issues facing the poultry industry. The unique cooperation among scientists, industry partners and government departments across Canada will synergize efforts to address these issues. The scale of the Cluster allows for basic research and more near-term, applied studies that will provide both immediate answers and future information for the poultry and food industries, as well as factors impacting consumer wellbeing.

For more details on these or any other CPRC activities, please contact The Canadian Poultry Research Council, 350 Sparks Street, Suite 1007, Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 7S8, phone: (613) 566-5916, fax: (613) 241-5999, email:, or visit us at 

The membership of the CPRC consists of Chicken Farmers of Canada, Canadian Hatching Egg Producers, Turkey Farmers of Canada, Egg Farmers of Canada and the Canadian Poultry and Egg Processors’ Council. CPRC’s mission is to address its members’ needs through dynamic leadership in the creation and implementation of programs for poultry research in Canada, which may also include societal concerns.

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