Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Black poses questions about poultry biosecurity

Glenn Black of Canadian Small Flockers has followed up concerns about antimicrobials with a blistering critique of biosecurity measures in the Canadian chicken industry.

His concerns are relevant to recent outbreaks of avian influenza in Oxford County and fear among Ontario’s poultry farmers.

“I have reviewed the HPAI (ie. Avian Influenza) biosecurity info and protocols from CFO ( Chicken Farmers of Ontario marketing board), CFC (Chicken Farmers of Canada national supply-management agency), CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) and OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) that are available on the Internet.,” he says in a letter to the agriculture ministers and the chicken supply management leaders.

“I believe all of it is lacking in comprehensiveness, and leave wide gaps on risk-based action protocols where your protocols are silent, make weak recommendations, or don't fully explain the risk mechanism and its probability, severity, and/or detectability; all of which I believe is putting Canada's poultry industry at elevated & unnecessary risk,” Black says.

“Since 85 per cent or more of the HPAI infections occur (or are at risk of occurring) in the CAFO (Concentrated Agriculture Farming Operations) mega poultry factories, I believe the supply management poultry system has the primary responsibility of correcting and closing these biosecurity gaffs as soon as possible.

He outlines four points, then refers them to a website where he has outlined more details.

1.            Between your four organizations, there is likely dozens of staff with responsibility for poultry biosecurity under the supply management ("SM") banner.  Why is it, in spite of this huge resource and more than 18 years forewarning and time to prepare, your SM systems haven't previously detected and fixed these huge errors?

2.            Why is it that a Small Flock poultry farmer with extremely limited resources is finding your SM biosecurity holes for you?

3.            What does this example tell Canadians about the competency and effectiveness of Canada's chicken Supply Management System?

The website reference is: http-//canadiansmallfloc#1B191A .