Farmer Health/Safety
September 29, 2017, Victoria, B.C. - British Columbia farmers are invited to safely and responsibly dispose of their unwanted or obsolete pesticides and livestock (including equine) medications from October 3 through 19, 2017.

In partnership with the Canadian Animal Health Institute (CAHI), Cleanfarms, an industry-led, national not-for-profit environmental stewardship organization, is offering this program at no cost to farmers.

The obsolete pesticide and livestock/equine medication collection program is a national program that comes to each province every three years. In between collections periods, farmers are asked to safely store their unwanted pesticides and livestock medications until they can properly dispose of them through the program.

"British Columbia farmers are environmentally conscious and are pleased to partner with Cleanfarms to safely dispose of obsolete pesticides and livestock medications," Stan Vander Waal, chair of the British Columbia Agriculture Council, said in a press release. "The Cleanfarms collection program provides an excellent one-stop service for British Columbia farmers to continue to protect the land."

Farmers in British Columbia have a long history of good stewardship practices. Since 1998, British Columbia farmers have turned in more than 282,000 kilograms of obsolete pesticides since program inception, and 47,000 kilograms during last collection in 2014 and 2015. Farmers across the province also turned in more than 500 kilograms of livestock medication in 2014 and 2015.

"British Columbia has a history of successful collections," Barry Friesen, general manager of Cleanfarms, said. "The participation of British Columbia farmers shows they are good stewards of their land and committed to protecting the environment."

After collection, the pesticides and medications are taken to a licensed waste management facility where they are disposed of through high temperature incineration.

The following locations will be accepting obsolete pesticides and livestock/equine medications from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on the dates specified:

VICTORIA
October 3, 2017
Capital Regional District
Hartland Landfill
1 Hartland Avenue
T: 250-360-3030

DUNCAN
October 4, 2017
Bings Creek
Recycling Centre
3900 Drinkwater Road
T: 250-746-2540

COURTENAY
October 5, 2017
Comox Valley Waste
Management Centre
3699 Bevan Road
Cumberland
T: 250-334-6000

DELTA
October 10 and 11, 2017
Crop Production Services
Evergro
7430 Hopcott Road
T: 604-940-0290

ABBOTSFORD
October 17 and 18, 2017
Univar Agriculture
3256 McCallum Road
T: 604-859-4919

PEMBERTON

October 19, 2017
Squamish-Lilloett Regional
District Transfer Station
1947 Carpenter Road
T: 604-894-6371 Ext. 236
July 7, 2017, Langley, B.C. – Approximately 2,000 wildfires occur each year in British Columbia. The effect of wildfires on the province’s agriculture community can be devastating and costly.

More than half of the wildfires in 2016 were caused by humans.

With the wildfire season upon on us in B.C., there are measures that ranchers, farmers, growers, and others who make their living in agriculture can do to protect their workers and their property. Addressing potential fire hazards will significantly reduce the chances of a large-scale fire affecting your operation.

Controlling the environment is important. Clear vegetation and wood debris to at least 10 metres from fences and structures; collect and remove generated wastes whether it is solid, semi-solid, or liquid; and reduce the timber fuel load elsewhere on your property and Crown or lease land to help mitigate the risk.

In the case that you have to address fire on your property, have a well-rehearsed Emergency Response Plan (ERP) in place. The ERP should also include an Evacuation Plan for workers and livestock.

“Having a map of your property, including Crown and lease lands, and a list of all of your workers and their locations is extremely helpful for evacuation and useful for first responders,” says Wendy Bennett, Executive Director of AgSafe. A list of materials and a safety data sheet of all liquid and spray chemicals and their locations should also be made available to attending firefighters.

Bennett suggests checking the Government of BC Wildfire Status website regularly to report or monitor the status of fires in your area.

For over twenty years AgSafe has been the expert on safety in the workplace for British Columbia’s agriculture industry and is committed to reducing the number of agriculture-related workplace deaths and injuries by offering health and safety programs, training, evaluation and consultation services.

For more information about agriculture workplace safety or AgSafe services call 1-877-533-1789 or visit www.AgSafeBC.ca

June 6, 2016 - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is collaborating with public health, veterinary, and agriculture officials in many states, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS), to investigate seven separate multistate outbreaks of human Salmonella infections. Results from these investigations showed that contact with live poultry in backyard flocks was the likely source of these outbreaks. READ MORE

Oct. 18, 2013 - The Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA) welcomes a new Chair to the CASA Board of Directors, while congratulating a new Director to the Board.
 
Denis Bilodeau, Second Vice President of l’Union des producteurs agricole (UPA) was re-elected to the Board representing producer groups this past October at Get with the Plan! 2013, CASA’s AGM and Conference in Québec City, Québec. He assumes the officer post of Chair of the Board. This is his first term as Chair. Previously Bilodeau has served as Vice-Chair of the CASA Board of Directors for four non-consecutive terms, and has been involved with CASA for approximately fifteen years.
 
“I am pleased to take on this role. I hope to bring my knowledge and expertise to the position, and I hold farm safety close to my heart. It is deeply rooted for me both personally and professionally,” says Bilodeau.
 
Bilodeau replaces outgoing Chair Dean Anderson, Agriculture Program Manager with Workplace Safety and Prevention Services. The Board wishes to thank Anderson for four terms of excellent service as Chair. Anderson takes on the role of Vice-Chair of the CASA Board.
 
Tara Huestis, Farm Safety Specialist with the Workers Compensation Board of PEI, assumes the role of Director representing government. Huestis won her seat by acclamation. This is her first term on the Board.
 
Filling out the remainder of the Board, Lauranne Sanderson, Department Head of Dalhousie University Agricultural Campus, resumes her role as Treasurer, while Billy Woods, producer from Torbay, Newfoundland and Labrador, continues as Secretary. Charan Gill, Chief Executive Officer of Progressive Intercultural Community Services, and Niels Koehncke, Acting Director of the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture, continue their Board terms.
 
At CASA’s AGM, CASA members also voted to revise the Association’s bylaws to enable CASA to comply with the new Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act, which establishes a new set of rules for federally incorporated non-profit corporations in Canada. Members also voted to dissolve CASA’s two-tiered membership system. All CASA members will now be able to nominate, run, and elect members directly to the CASA Board of Directors.
 
For more information, please visit www.casa-acsa.ca.
Antimicrobials are used in the broiler industry routinely. Not only do they improve performance (growth, feed conversion and meat yield), but they also reduce the risk of consumers being exposed to food-borne pathogens. Food safety is a significant and growing issue for consumers internationally, and food-related illnesses or deaths often have devastating impacts on entire food supply chains.

Despite the benefits that antibiotics provide, there are also potential drawbacks, and their use in animal feeds is under fire. Due to consumer concern, the pressure to ban antibiotic use in poultry feed continues to increase. The primary concerns of the poultry industry for a ban on antibiotic use are potential reductions in production performance and bird welfare.

To address these concerns, Dr. Martin Zuidhof and his research team at the University of Alberta have been investigating ways to reduce the prophylactic use of antibiotics in poultry feed. Their aim is to enhance consumer confidence through discovery of effective alternative approaches such as nutritional interventions that can prevent the onset of disease in a novel, non-pharmaceutical manner.

The research team approached the problem using two separate research trials. The first trial investigated the use of antibiotics on broiler chicken production. They fed groups two strains of broiler chicks one of four antibiotic treatments (no antibiotic, Bacitracin Methylene Disalicylate (BMD), Roxarsone and Virginiamycin) during the starter and grower periods. They measured feed conversion ratio, mortality, and weights of carcass, breast, leg and wing.

The second trial studied the effect of dietary changes that could prepare the immune system to respond quickly and effectively to disease challenges. They investigated the use of nutrient density intervention during the first two weeks, with the addition of either: HyD (a readily available form of vitamin D), and BMD, on growth performance, carcass parameters, intestinal morphology and immune function. Chickens were fed either high- or low-density diets with and without HyD, and with and without BMD, all at recommended levels. Carcass and meat yield, the capacity of blood cells to kill bacteria and other immune responses were measured.

During both trials, a necrotic enteritis outbreak occurred. In trial 1, BMD and Virginiamycin reduced mortality from necrotic enteritis. While strain A birds on the no-antibiotic treatment had higher mortality from necrotic enteritis compared to strain B birds, the addition of BMD and Virginiamycin negated that difference. As well, birds fed diets with antibiotics had lower feed conversion ratio than birds fed no antibiotics. Meanwhile, strain B birds had higher feed conversion ratio at day 35. Neither strain nor antibiotic treatments had an effect on breast muscle weight.

Lastly, the overall economic impact of antibiotic feeding was a cost reduction of around $0.10/kilogram. This trial confirmed the complexity of understanding the issue of banning prophylactic antibiotics, due to the multi-factorial influences of strain and antibiotic type on economics, health and welfare.

In trial 2, the high-density diet increased body weight and meat yield, and decreased feed conversion ratio. High nutrient density resulted in higher net returns, and a nearly significant increase in bacteria killing capacity. BMD reduced mortality compared to birds fed no antibiotics, while HyD increased factors related to the immune response without causing a decrease in performance.

Overall, the replacement of antibiotics is a complex challenge because of multi-factorial influences on health and the immune system. Dr. Zuidhof feels that the most likely pathway to successful antibiotic-free poultry production will be the development of an interdependent-systems approach involving both management and nutrition, potentially including the two methods investigated here, but much broader. Sustainability of the poultry industry will require investment in whole-systems approaches to promote and enhance poultry health.

The room went silent for a moment as Jan Shearer fought to keep his composure, unable to speak. “I struggle sometimes to give this presentation,” the veterinarian from Iowa State University told a gathering of Farm and Food Care (FFC) delegates at a meeting in Guelph earlier this spring.

His presentation was about what he called the “caring and killing paradox” – the emotional toll of being called on to perform euthanasia, but not always for humane or medical reasons.

Veterinarians struggle with euthanasia for the sake of convenience. For example, a dog is no longer wanted because the owner has redecorated the house and the dog doesn’t match the colour scheme anymore. “Do I send this person out the door and possibly send this animal to a terrible death?” he asked. But on the other end of the spectrum, what about when an owner wants to continue treating an animal regardless of the animal’s quality of life, only because they can’t let go?

Dealing with the destruction of healthy animals creates a moral stress for the veterinarian, whose life is devoted to maintaining the well-being of animals. This can create a condition not dissimilar to post-traumatic stress disorder, called perpetration-induced traumatic stress. “It’s a very real issue,” said Shearer, “one day a healer; the next day an executioner.”

One study in the United Kingdom has revealed that veterinarians are three times more likely to commit suicide than the general population. Shelter workers, laboratory technicians and even young people in 4-H clubs are exposed to the caring and killing paradox, marked by depression, grief and other destructive behaviours that can include alcohol and drug abuse. “It takes a toll,” said Shearer, “a real toll.”

Shearer described the difference between human and animal cognition by quoting Bernard Rollin, a philosophy professor at Colorado State University: “In the animal mind – there is only ‘quality of life.’ It’s painful or it’s not, hungry or not, thirsty or not.”

Humans, on the other hand, will endure short-term negative experiences for the purpose of achieving long-term goals. “To be the animal’s advocate we have to keep these things in perspective,” said Shearer.

The euthanasia procedure can be stressful for a caregiver when the animals are suffering as well. “In a perfect world, we would preserve all life and relieve all suffering by medical or other means,” said Shearer. “Reality is, there are many conditions in animals, whether caused by injury or disease, that result in excruciating pain and/or horrible suffering that cannot be relieved by any other means than euthanasia.”

Either way, as a veterinarian, Shearer looks for a so-called “good death,” where life is ended without pain or distress to the animal. “This requires a technique that induces immediate loss of consciousness followed by cardiac and respiratory arrest which results in a loss of brain function and death.”

“It’s complicated,” he said, adding that the emotional aspects are harder to deal with than the actual procedure; “the decision is not always black and white.” No one likes or wants to do it, and all are afraid of the possibility of acting too soon.

Research is improving euthanasia procedures and the Iowa State University website provides extensive information on euthanasia, including such aspects as equipment maintenance.

“Killing can be kind,” said Shearer, again quoting Bernard Rollin. “Better a week too early than a day too late.”

Poultry farmers understand and adhere to strict standards when it comes to food safety, but surprisingly, there are still many who don’t realize that they must also adhere to standards of health and safety.

The good news is that it isn’t because farmers don’t care, it is really just a case of many not realizing that, as “businesses,” they fall under the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and, if they do know it, of being unsure where to begin. In fact, according to the Canadian Agricultural Safety Association (CASA), 85 per cent of producers believe safety is a priority on their farm, yet less than nine per cent of operators have a written agricultural safety plan.

At a recent presentation made to members of the Poultry Industry Council, Kristin Hoffman, a consultant with Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS), noted that many producers were surprised to learn the scope of their responsibilities under the OHSA. Many didn’t realize that they are considered “employers” and are responsible for the health and safety of workers who come to their farms.

In fact, the Ministry of Labour in Ontario defines an employer as a person who employs one or more workers or a person who contracts for the services of one or more workers.

Attendees of the workshop were lucky enough to be learning about this in a meeting room, but some haven’t been so fortunate.

In her presentation, Hoffman shared examples of those who were fined because they failed to fulfil their responsibilities as an employer. In the three examples that were shared, two workers were injured and one was killed on the job. The employers were convicted for a variety of offences, including failing to take reasonable precaution and failing to provide information, instruction and supervision, and fines ranged from $50,000 to $80,000.

Producers regularly work with outside service providers to manage the various stages of production, which can include delivery services, catching crews, pick-up and transport providers, and cleaning services. In some cases, providers offer more than one of these services, but occasionally different providers are used for each step and farmers aren’t working with the same people every time.

“The producer and the service provider need to share in the responsibility of training these workers to be safe on the farm,” explained Hoffman. The service provider should be training their employees on the basics of health and safety, such as fall protection and equipment safety. However, every farm is different and it is up to the operator to orient new workers to the hazards and risks that exist in their workplace.”

In addition to providing clients with information about legislated responsibilities, Hoffman also offered some tips on where to start.

UNDERSTAND YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES

Hoffman and other WSPS consultants are working with individual clients and attending events like this to continue spreading the word about the responsibilities of farm operators and how they can create healthy and safe workplaces. However, there are also many resources available online from associations such as WSPS, the Ministry of Labour, Chicken Farmers of Ontario and CASA.

ASSESS WORKPLACE HAZARDS AND RISKS

Physical conditions of the farm are very important. Take stock of all of the hazards and risks that exist in your operation including things like equipment, processes, chemicals, etc. Create a list and prioritize them.

START WITH SIGNIFICANT RISKS AND DOCUMENT SIMPLE STANDARDS

You don’t have to start from scratch. Chicken Farmers of Ontario offers a Safe Work Practices tool on its website, which includes information about job planning and safe work practices, specifically written for broiler chicken farmers.

DEVELOP A PLAN
There are many resources available to assist farm operators with developing a plan.

The Canada FarmSafe Plan, available from CASA, is an adaptable guide for producers to use in developing, implementing and establishing an effective farm and ranch safety plan. And, as the delivery agent for Ontario, WSPS offers the OntarioFarmSafe Plan, which can be downloaded from the website for only $49 (and includes additional resources and templates). This version features provincial legislation and compliance information.

TALK TO SERVICE PROVIDERS

Consider asking service providers about their health and safety policies and practices when negotiating contracts. Find out if they are providing the necessary training to ensure that workers have the required qualifications, skills and general safety knowledge to work safely. That way, you will be sure they understand the basics when you’re showing them how to work safely on your farm.

SHOW AND TELL

It’s important to spend time with new workers arriving on the farm to make sure they know about the processes and equipment that they’ll be working with. Take the time to walk them around the area in which they’ll be working, as well as tell them what you expect. Health and safety should be managed with the same rigour that goes into every other facet of the business. 

“Really, farm operators are well equipped to manage this responsibility. Collaborating on the health and safety of workers is no different than collaborating with food manufacturers on the health and safety of the flock. It’s really just a matter of understanding responsibilities, making the commitment and developing a plan that makes sense for your farming operation,” said Hoffman.

ABOUT WORKPLACE SAFETY AND PREVENTION SERVICES

WSPS provides industry-specific health and safety products, training and consulting services to 154,000 businesses and 3.8 million employees in Ontario’s agricultural, manufacturing and service sectors.

As one of four health and safety associations operating under the Health and Safety Ontario banner, WSPS is a trusted advisor to businesses, large and small, seeking to boost productivity and profitability by reaching zero work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities.

For more information on farm safety and links to downloadable resources, visit www.healthandsafetyontario.ca or contact WSPS at 1-877-494-9777.

Regardless of how you feel about it, your role as a producer of food has changed since your grandfather was farming. No longer are you simply trusted to produce safe chicken, eggs and turkey; now, you’re expected to prove it. Whereas 50 years ago, “agvocacy” wasn’t really necessary because most people were intimately connected with agriculture, today’s shoppers are typically two or more generations removed from the land. So, as a farmer in 2013, it’s your professional duty to help debunk myths about the sector.

If you’re not reading something in the mainstream media that makes your blood boil, you’re probably overhearing uninformed conversations about the safety of food and suddenly finding yourself “on duty.” Regrettably, I recently witnessed a hair stylist orate to the impressionable mind in his chair. He was telling his client, quite seriously, that he buys only organic food because there are all sorts of things in meat, nowadays, even if it is from a real animal. None of it is regulated, did you know? And in Europe they’re making horses into burgers!

There really was only one thing that I could do – that we all could have done. In situations like these, we stop the cynic right there and find ourselves doing a live, unplugged version of Agriculture 101 – the rendition that we reserve for when the uninformed have the bad luck of casting aspersions in our presence. We take the time to explain reality, and while we won’t wholly convert the oblivious offender, we may make him think twice before serving up fallacies with the next cut-and-blow.

It’s an uphill battle to correct misinformation, but consumers are more concerned about their food than ever before. Gaining and retaining their confidence isn’t optional; it’s imperative. And the more proof we’re able to hold up regarding what’s being done to ensure wholesome Canadian-produced food, the better.

The struggle to keep that public support, however, is now a lot easier for Canada’s chicken farmers. On March 19, The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, announced that Chicken Farmers of Canada (CFC) has been awarded federal, provincial and territorial government recognition of its On-Farm Food Safety Assurance Program (OFFSAP).

The distinction has been a long time in coming and the convoluted timeline to get to this point only serves as proof that this is not some willy-nilly rubber-stamped program. Developing the system so that it is in line with Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles, then submitting it for technical review to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and having it implemented, audited and assessed, means that consumers can be assured that chicken farmers are serious about producing a safe, quality product.

It’s one thing to say you’re committed. But, as the longtime CFC mantra illustrates, chicken farmers can say what they’ll do, do what they say, and then prove it when challenged. It’s all in the certifications, the statistics – and the records.

So, when a Canadian chicken farmer overhears one of those ignorant diatribes, he or she can fight the good fight because they have OFFSAP backing them up. And that’s one more step towards sustaining confidence in Canadian chicken purchases at the grocery store level.

Congratulations, CFC.

"I will never forgive her. Forgiving her would be letting her win.” This is how Julie justifies harbouring rage and bitterness for her sister‑in‑law for several years.

We are all after the same thing: happiness. Yet several studies have shown that harbouring hatred toward someone conflicts with happiness. Happy people do not entertain hatred or vengeance and are people who have learned to forgive.

There may be many reasons to hate, yet equally as many reasons to forgive. Some experts affirm that people who hold on to resentments and hatred could decrease their life expectancy by 14 years. In addition, persistent hatred is a contributing factor to depression and chronic stress. It is also associated with the risk of coronary artery disease. Resenting your sister‑in‑law day in and day out could increase your chance of a heart attack. Do you hate her that much?

“I go out to a restaurant for dinner with my husband and she’s all we talk about,” Julie told me. “I even wake up at night thinking about it. I am so tense that I have to see a massage therapist. Now, here I am seeing a psychologist.” Isn’t it paradoxical? We often invest more energy in people we hate or dislike than in those we like. And the result is a loss of so much time, energy and money. Think, for example, of people who pursue court action against someone for years in order to be proven right, or on principle. But how much do these principles and pride cost?

You can ask yourself the following:

  • Is it useful to continue to entertain this hatred?
  • Is it good for my physical and psychological health?
  • Is it good for the people who are important and close to me to be subjected to my hatred?
  • Is it useful for my life projects?
  • Will this help me attain my life goals?

If you can honestly answer yes to these questions, then continue. If not, why not stop poisoning your existence and that of others around you?

Only you can decide to forgive. You don’t need the other person to agree in order to do this. The responsibility and the power to choose are entirely yours.

In addition to all the benefits for your health and happiness, you could gain a great deal of time. As Julie said to me, “When you wake up at night hating someone because there is not enough time during the day to hate him or her, then it’s time to do something.”

Finally, remember that, unless you are calling the person in the middle of the night to tell them you hate them, you will be the only sleepless one.


Pierrette Desrosiers is a work psychologist, speaker and psychological coach who specializes in helping those working in agriculture. She can be contacted by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , o,r if you would life more information, visit her website, www.pierrettedesrosiers.com.

Nov. 9, 2012, Ottawa, ON - The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, has announced that new regulations have come into force, updating Health Canada's 50-year-old rules for regulating food additives and improving food safety.

Food additives are substances that affect the nature of a food (flavour, colour, consistency etc.) and remain in the finished food product at some level. Until now, even when scientists showed a new additive could reduce the risk of a potential serious food-borne illness outbreak, it took an additional 12 to 18 months for the regulatory process to actually change the list and make the product legal.

Health Canada's new system doesn't change the thorough safety assessment that is conducted by Health Canada scientists for all food additives. It will, however, allow Health Canada to act faster to authorize food additives that have health and safety benefits, or to respond to health and safety concerns about an existing additive. It's expected that once the scientific assessment has been completed for new food additives, the process to update these lists will save the additional delay in changing the list.

"Canada's system for regulating food additives was set-up over 50 years ago," added Minister Aglukkaq. "What worked in the 1950s and '60s simply can't keep up with the needs and expectations of Canadians today."

For example, C. maltaromaticum (MICOCIN) is a food additive used in certain processed meat and poultry products to help control the growth of harmful bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes. Health Canada determined that this additive could be safely used in December 2007, but it took another 36 months for the required regulatory changes and approvals to enable industry to market this product.

The new regulations would have made a significant difference in protecting the health and safety of Canadians by allowing these additives to be used much sooner.

Moving forward, Health Canada will maintain publicly available lists on its web site (available here). Any listed additives are considered legal for use in Canada, and any limits on its use will be clearly spelled out.

 

 

UPDATE (Nov. 6, 2012) - Minister Gerry Ritz has raised over $7,000 in the first week of his Movember campaign. However, more donations are needed to meet this year’s target of $25,000. Donations can be made as individuals or collectively as organizations to Minister Ritz’s Movember Canada campaign online (link here),or you can reference Gerry Ritz and Registration # 2736566 and send it to: Movember Canada, 119 Spadina Avenue, PO Box 65, Toronto, ON M5T 2T2.

Canada's poultry and egg farmers challenged Minister Ritz to once again shave his moustache in support of prostate cancer awareness and men's mental health. Campaign supporters include Chicken Farmers of Canada, Canadian Hatching Egg Producers, Egg Farmers of Canada and Turkey Farmers of Canada.

"Last year, Minister Ritz helped raise over $15,000 for prostate cancer research so we decided to up the ante," said Dave Janzen, Chair of Chicken Farmers of Canada. "This year we're hoping to raise $25,000 in support of prostate cancer and mental health research by getting him to remove his moustache. This campaign presents us with the opportunity to show urbanites how rural Canada can step up to the plate in support of a national initiative that affects all Canadians."

The idea builds on last year's successful campaign by Minister Ritz which topped out at just over $16,500.

"While I have accepted this challenge, I'm hopeful that this year's steep fundraising goal will keep my moustache firmly in place," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "Although, it's clear that Canadian farmers and processors deliver the best food in the world, we're raising the stakes to see if they can remain the best fundraisers too."

"We are proud to step forward and work together in support of prostate cancer and men's mental health awareness," said Jack Greydanus, Chair of Canadian Hatching Egg Producers. "Thank you to Minister Ritz for agreeing to participate again this year. Farmers from coast to coast are challenged to step forward in support of this fundraising project for these two great causes."

Movember is the public awareness campaign held each November to promote prostate cancer awareness and male mental health. According to Prostate Cancer Canada, 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with a form of prostate cancer, making it the most common cancer among Canadian men. One out of five Canadians will experience a mental illness in their lifetime and the remaining four will have a family member or colleague who will.

Donations can be made to Minister Ritz's Movember Canada campaign online, or you can reference Gerry Ritz and Registration # 2736566 and send it to: Movember Canada, 119 Spadina Avenue, PO Box 65, Toronto, ON M5T 2T2.

To learn more about changing the face of men's health visit: http://ca.movember.com.

Sept. 7, 2012 - A mutation of the highly toxic H5N1 bird flu has appeared in Vietnam, and state media reports state that it is spreading fast, resulting in mass culls.

According to Times Live, outbreaks have been reported in six provinces in the past two months and 180,000 birds have been culled to attempt to slow the transmission. The Central Veterinary Diagnsis Centre is also testing current vaccines against the new threat.

For more on the outbreak, please see the entire article at Times Live.

Aug. 15, 2012 - An incidence of low pathogenic avian influenze, of serotype H7N7, has been found on a farm in the Netherlands.

According to a report issued by the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health), the outbreak was first detected in August 9th, 2012 with over 31,000 laying hens being susceptible. According to the report, all birds have been destroyed.

The incident was reported by Dr. Christianne Bruschke, a veterinary officer with the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality reported the incidence of H7N7 at the farm located in the city of Utrecht.

There are no other commercial holdings within 1 kilometre of the farm, according to the report, but strickt quarantine measures have been installed.

For more information on the situation as it develops, visit the OIE website http://www.oie.int/.

Jul. 23, 2012 - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that the Salmonella outbreak that has hit more than 70 people from 20 states stems from Estes Hatchery in Missouri.

The mail-order hatchery, according to an article in the News Leader, has remained open during the outbreak and has continued to ship birds all over the U.S.

For more information on what the CDC is doing to monitor and control the outbreak, you can visit the investigation page here.

Jul. 12, 2012, Cheshire, England - At a hearing at Crewe Law Courts in Cheshire, poultry farmer Norman Woodward became ill and increasingly short of breath after his retirement due to a lifetime exposure to chicken droppings.

According to an article in The Daily Mail, Dr. Geoff Roberts, the coroner, said that his work with poultry directly influenced his death by developing allergic alveolitis.

We have heard that over the years Norman was exposed to a number of antigens and as a result, he developed this condition, allergic alveolitis.

"We have heard very clearly that how, after continued exposure, he developed the lung diseases associated with his occupation, and there’s no doubt that these led him to his death ... There’s a very clear association with Mr Woodward’s occupation and the development of his subsequent lung disease. He died of an industrial disease."

For more information on the inquest, see The Daily Mail.

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