Canadian Poultry Magazine

New resource helps producers weather remainder of pandemic

By Canadian Poultry magazine   

News Farmer Health/Safety COVID-19 on-farm safety pandemic

OMAFRA-funded document aimed at reducing risks for farm workers during pandemic.

Through funding from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Poultry Industry Council has launched a new educational resource aimed at helping poultry producers reduce the risk of poultry farm workers becoming infected with COVID-19.

The “COVID-19 Resource Hub” features feedback and insights from a broad range of industry stakeholders and producers centred on technologies and practises that help reduce person to person contact, reduce labour demands, and innovate on how we work in the context of a pandemic.

“It was really interesting to hear first hand how our membership has adapted to a whole new way of working and how quickly they did it too,” says Poultry Industry Council executive director Ashley Honsberger. “The pandemic business pivot has helped the sector find novel ways of working and leverage their biosecurity knowledge for good business continuity.”

Over 30 interviews were conducted as well as an online survey to collect the background information that built the resource. Some of the interesting technologies emerged from other sectors, such as health care and as a result of university research, and have direct applications in poultry business for example, surface cleaning using UV chambers and high-efficiency ozone filtration systems for shared workspaces and in the barn.

Other insights really got back to the basics by: washing hands, wearing masks, keeping your distance, working from home. A variety of COVID-19 prevention resources are also compiled as well as a selection of helpful resources from allied industry partners.

The resource will stay live for at least 21 months as of March 31, 2021, however, PIC has some ideas on how to keep using it moving forward.

“Technology is the next frontier for all of agriculture to leverage to help achieve efficient management and in terms of its application in poultry, we are continually looking for efficiencies and better animal welfare through new tech investments,” Honsberger says. “This tool will be a great platform for us to continue to grow and adapt as new and innovative technology becomes available.”

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