The Chicken Farmers of Ontario marketing board has signed an agreement to share information with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to control disease outbreaks.
The agreement limits the CFIA to using the chicken-board data only for disease control purposes.
The chicken board says on its website that it’s the first agreement of its kind.
The chicken board has data on not only its quota-holding members, but also hundreds of small flock owners who are registered with the board.
Last year two Oxford County turkey farms and one hatching egg farm were hit by outbreaks of avian influenza thought to be carried by migrating ducks and/or geese.
The entire poultry industry went on high alert, working through a joint command centre and sharing information with the CFIA.
"This ground breaking agreement represents several years of work by the respective staffs of the two organizations," said Henry Zantingh, chairman of Chicken Farmers of Ontario.
"It is also recognition of the importance of active communication and cooperation between the government and industry in dealing with disease management in the poultry industry."
The chicken board says “the detailed production information data bases utilized within the poultry supply management system are invaluable for identifying affected flocks, providing detailed mapping of farm locations and helping disease spread control measures to maintain business continuity during an outbreak.”
Chicken board president and chief executive officer Rob Dougans said "this agreement helps advance CFO's enterprise risk management framework and will enhance our ability to plan our mitigation strategies in the future."