Governments strengthen biosecurity at Ontario poultry operations
By Canadian Poultry magazineNews Disease watch
Canada and Ontario investing $1.5 million to support biosecurity measures to reduce the spread of avian influenza.
The governments of Canada and Ontario are investing up to $1.5 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to help eligible non-supply-managed poultry operations and related agri-businesses increase biosecurity efforts to reduce the spread of the highly pathogenic avian influenza.
The Poultry Biosecurity Preparedness Initiative is a new, cost-share initiative to assist eligible non-supply-managed poultry and waterfowl farmers, meat processors in the sector and other related businesses in taking a variety of actions to increase biosecurity and reduce the risk of disease. Eligible poultry and waterfowl farmers are those non-supply-managed operations with flocks of at least 300 birds.
This program was developed following discussions with poultry farmers and is intended to support farmers in their biosecurity efforts. This initiative builds on other actions the government has taken to support the sector, such as educational webinars for farmers, orders to prohibit co-mingling of poultry and expanding access to farmer mental wellness programs.
Examples of eligible actions for support under this initiative include:
- Adding equipment designed to enhance on-farm biosecurity, such as the installation of a security gate for controlled entrance or purchase of security equipment and biosecurity signage.
- Adding cleaning and disinfecting equipment such as hot water pressure washers and constructing wash stations, anterooms and segregation walls; or
- Enhancing protocols or practices to mitigate interactions between wild and farmed birds.
“Poultry farmers are ever more vigilant to prevent the spread of avian flu,” said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This program will allow them to further strengthen biosecurity measures and protect their animals from this virus.”
“Ontario’s poultry farmers have been working tirelessly to ensure the health of their flocks and to maintain the province’s food supply, through their responses to avian influenza,” said Lisa Thompson, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “The best defence against avian influenza is strong biosecurity measures. This investment will help the sector strengthen and maintain such actions to reduce the impacts of this virus.”
Applicants can receive up to 70 per cent cost share for eligible expenses (retroactively to April 1, 2022), up to $100,000 per enhanced location, for up to $500,000 per business.
Eligible businesses can apply for support through this initiative starting in January.
Since June 2018, both the federal and provincial governments have committed over $140 million in support to more than 6,500 projects through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. This funding has provided eligible Ontario farmers, processors, businesses and sector organizations with the ability to innovate and grow.
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