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Canada: Backyard poultry operators meet

Backyard poultry operators need to keep a close eye on their birds and ensure that they do their best to stop the spread of diseases, say federal and provincial food inspection officials.

A joint presentation by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs was held recently at Trent University, aimed at owners of small or backyard poultry flocks.

The focus of the meeting was on the recognition and prevention of diseases such as avian influenza and Newcastle disease.

“We had never considered this segment of the poultry population as being relatively significant,” said Dr Jim Clark, CFIA national manager. “We recognise that these particular producers likely have more exposure to wild birds (who might carry disease), simply because of the management practices they use.”

One of the most important messages given to the audience was to contact a veterinarian if a bird is ill. “If you’ve got birds dropping dead and the rest of them look pretty rough and sick, call CFIA because we want to know about it,” Clark told the audience.

Source: The Peterborough Examiner

Natalie Berkhout

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