Chicken Farmers of Canada, Turkey Farmers of Canada, Egg Farmers of Canada and the Canadian Hatching Egg Producers together applaud new updates to the schedule of maximum amounts payable for compensation to owners of birds ordered destroyed for disease control purposes, announced yesterday by Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz at a reception organised by the poultry groups.
The newly enhanced compensation program will help lessen the economic and social impact on poultry farmers in the event their flocks must be destroyed and represents the culmination of extensive consultation between industry stakeholders and government.
"Canadian poultry farmers appreciate the work the government has completed in support of their interests and livelihoods," says Peter Clarke, Chair of Egg Farmers of Canada. "The new compensation figures better reflect the different market values of an egg-laying hen, a breeder bird and a meat bird."
Adequate compensation is considered a critical component in both effective disease surveillance and pre-emptive cull programs; the ultimate goal is to contain a disease before it spreads and save all partners - governments, the public and industry - the cost of managing a full disease outbreak.
"Poultry farmers and processors have shared in the responsibility and cost of risk prevention through on-farm food safety programs, biosecurity initiatives and the development and implementation of the pre-emptive cull protocol in the unlikely event that there is a suspicion of avian influenza," says Turkey Farmers of Canada Chair, Mark Davies. "Compensation values that reflect the true market value of a bird are a logical next step in this process."
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency provides compensation to owners of animals ordered destroyed under the authority of the Health of Animals Act. The newly revised maximum compensation amounts are effective immediately and will be published in Canada Gazette II on March 30, 2011.