Canadian Poultry Magazine

PIC Update: The Biosecurity Cost-Share Program

By PIC   

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The PIC has been intimately involved in the program, which is designed to support Ontario producers

Currently, the poultry industry is the only livestock sector that has a
national biosecurity standard – the National Avian On-Farm Biosecurity

Currently, the poultry industry is the only livestock sector that has a national biosecurity standard – the National Avian On-Farm Biosecurity Standard. To encourage and support the implementation and adoption of the national standards for biosecurity in poultry production across Ontario, under the title Growing Forward, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) has implemented a farm biosecurity program – a cost-share program that allows poultry producers to apply for up to a maximum of $10,000 for eligible expenses.

OMAFRA and the PIC held meetings in April focused
on ways to identify on-farm risks and areas where Ontario’s producers can implement and improve existing biosecurity measures.



Eligible expenses include but are not limited to:

  • Equipment, software or infrastructure that directly improves bio-security and relates to the national standards.
  • Structural modifications to accommodate the installation of equipment or infrastructure associated with biosecurity measures.
  • Veterinarian fees directly related to the development of a biosecurity plan.
  • Consultant costs directly related to the development of standard operating procedures or programs with biosecurity outcomes, or the development of a biosecurity training program.
  • Applicant’s in-kind labour and/or equipment costs directly related to implementing the approved biosecurity project(s) under the program.

During the month of April, PIC collaborated with OMAFRA to hold meetings for poultry producers in St. Catharines, Ingersoll, Guelph, Belleville and St. Isidore in order to build producer awareness of the general concepts of poultry health and biosecurity, and to guide producers in completing a biosecurity “gap analysis” for their farm.

The program is intended for both commercial and small flock owners of poultry.

However, as vital conduits for the spread of information, industry groups and veterinarians also have been encouraged to attend meetings to increase awareness and distribute information to a wider range of producers and small flock owners.

The meetings were focused on ways to identify on-farm risks and subsequently areas where Ontario’s producers can implement and improve existing biosecurity measures.

Producers were provided with a workbook and case study that reinforced practical and fundamental biosecurity information and standard operating procedures.

Since the 2004 avian influenza outbreak, the poultry industry strengthened its commitment towards the development of a proactive, dedicated approach in preventing disease-causing agents from entering and spreading within farms or escaping from premises.

These workshops are just one example of this commitment and will strive to enable consistencies of on-farm biosecurity practice as well as enhance the way in which poultry production and food safety is viewed by consumers.


To be an eligible applicant, participants must be a commercial or non-commercial poultry holder and/or keeper. Applicants also must have the following:

  • A Canada Revenue Agency Business Number (GST number).OR
  • A Farm Business Registration
  • (FBR) number or an Exemption Certificate OR
  • A First Nations applicant operating on reservation land may furnish a letter from the Indian Agriculture Program of Ontario (IAPO) verifying their business operation AND
  • A Social Insurance Number (for income tax purposes)
  • A Canadian bank account
  • A validated Premises Identification Number in the Ontario Agri-Food Premises Registry. Applicants must submit a copy of the Premises Identification Number Certificate no later than the specified return date of the Offer to Proceed.

How to Apply

In order to be eligible for funds, all applicants must attend an OMAFRA Poultry Farm Biosecurity Workshop before submitting their application form. A certificate of participation will be issued verifying attendance in the workshop. This must be attached to the application form.

There has been great interest at all locations across the province, with an average of 40 participants per session. Workshops were held on April 6 in St Catharines, April 7 in Ingersoll, April 12 in Guelph, April 27 in Belleville and on April 28 in St Isidore.

At each meeting, participants are provided with biosecurity resources, program information and complimentary lunch.

Objectives of the workshops are to:

  • Refresh knowledge of biosecurity risks to Ontario poultry operations and how these risks can be managed through the consistent application of sound biosecurity principles at the farm level.
  • Evaluate and identify key risk factors on their own operation, and develop an action plan for making improvements, based on the National Avian On-Farm Biosecurity Standard.
  • Begin a self-assessment of their own operation, leading to an action plan that will help them manage those risks.

Information for this workshop was presented by Al Dam, Dr. Paul Innes and Dr. Babak Sanei from OMAFRA. The last of the five workshops held in St. Isidore, Ont.,, was conducted in French by Michel Moisan (OMAFRA) and Dr. Jean-Pierre Vaillancourt (Universitié de Montréal).

Participants heard a brief overview of the Growing Forward Farm Biosecurity Program and the National Avian On-Farm Biosecurity Standard and then learned about the Basic Principles of Biosecurity, including Access, Health and Operational Management. Participants then worked through a Farm Case Study, which was referred to throughout the day so the workshop participants may develop ideas and apply the biosecurity and management principles in a practical setting. Participants were shown how ideas generated during the case study discussions also could be useful for developing their own self-assessments and action plans, a key part of the application process. Participants found working in these small groups particularly useful to brainstorm ideas with colleagues in similar situations to their own.

This type of forum also was useful for generating questions and discussion regarding specific protocols of application and general biosecurity information.

The day concluded with a review of the Farm Biosecurity Program Application Process and a discussion of items that are eligible for funding (see list above).

PIC Involvement

The PIC team helped throughout the process of delivering these workshops by organizing dates and locations for meetings, proofing, printing and packaging education materials and providing facilitation skills throughout the workshops. We also were able to provide constructive criticisms after each meeting in order to make subsequent workshops easier to understand and to ensure participants stayed on track.

So far, participant response to the program has been positive. Evaluation forms distributed after each workshop have provided useful and invaluable insight that will ensure further development of the Farm Biosecurity Program for the benefit of government, industry and future participants in the program.

Biosecurity Outreach Program

In conjunction with the Growing Forward Farm Biosecurity Program, PIC has developed a Biosecurity Outreach Program (BOP) aimed at having small kitchen table discussions for small flock and commercial producers who want to understand how to improve their bio-security practices.

We will be hosting two kitchen table meetings in Simcoe on June 10 and St. Catherines on June 22.

For more information on future discussion dates see the PIC website,, and for specific details and information on Growing Forward workshops across Ontario coming up in the fall, visit the PIC or OMAFRA websites or call 1-888-479-3931 (1-888-GRWFWD1).

2010 London Poultry Show

Who wasn’t at the London Poultry Show? There was plenty of new stuff to see – acres of solar panels to capture all this great sunshine and turn it into money! New layer cage systems were once again in evidence and some great presentations were given in the education/hospitality suite. For those of you who thought the numbers were down, you were right, but . . . only by 80 people compared with 2009.

Over the two-day event 2,800 people packed in to see what’s new, greet old friends and make new ones. Generally, the show went smoothly, and PIC would like to thank the exhibitors and organizers for putting on a great show. This year’s “bizarre happening” prize goes to Chicken Farmers of Ontario, who apparently, had 10 cases (yes, 10 cases, not bottles) of barbeque sauce stolen from their exhibit on the first night of the show!

Keep an eye on the PIC website for updates and events, and book early for the Innovations Conference being held in November.

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