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Governments Strengthen Biosecurity at Ontario Poultry Operations

Canada and Ontario investing $1.5 million to support biosecurity measures to reduce the spread of avian influenza

November 24, 2022

Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

TORONTO – 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.


Quick Facts

  • Avian influenza is not a threat to food safety but impacts birds. Ontario poultry and eggs are safe to eat when proper handling and cooking takes place.
  • The Poultry Biosecurity Preparedness Initiative will be delivered by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. More details about the initiative and its application process are available online or can be obtained by calling 1-877-424-1300.
  • All farmers are encouraged to participate in Business Risk Management programs to support their farm businesses during difficult times. Farmers should contact Agricorp for more information about specific program options
  • The Partnership is a five-year, $3-billion commitment by Canada’s federal, provincial and territorial governments that supports Canada’s agri-food and agri-products sectors. This includes a $2 billion commitment that is cost-shared 60 per cent federally and 40 per cent provincially/territorially for programs that are designed and delivered by provinces and territories.

Quotes

“This is a welcomed addition of funding for non-supply-managed poultry producers. Avian influenza has impacted many businesses that were not covered by other programs. This new funding will help address the gap, and benefit producers in enhancing their biosecurity efforts.”

– Franco Naccarato
Executive Director, Meat & Poultry Ontario

“The members of the Poultry Service Association appreciate the Minister’s leadership in launching the Poultry Biosecurity Preparedness Initiative. Our members have been impacted by the avian influenza outbreaks and these funds will provide meaningful support toward maintaining and strengthening our biosecurity activities.”

– Susan Fitzgerald
Executive Director, Poultry Service Association