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CFO and OMAFRA improve poultry disease management capacity with new information sharing agreement

New accord follows similar agreement signed with CFIA

BURLINGTON, ON, May 18, 2016 - The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) have signed an agreement allowing for the exchange of information relating to chicken disease incidents. This agreement is similar to that signed by CFIA and CFO in February and is designed to improve response time and effectiveness in managing fast spreading poultry diseases such as influenza A viruses, Newcastle Disease, Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT), certain salmonellae and fowl cholera.

"This agreement provides our industry with a new tool to support our poultry disease emergency management framework,” said Henry Zantingh, Chair, Chicken Farmers of Ontario. "It also recognizes the importance of active communication and cooperation between the government and industry in dealing with disease management in the poultry industry."

“Ontario is pleased to work closely with Chicken Farmers of Ontario to improve the management of poultry diseases. As was demonstrated in 2015, we commend Ontario's poultry industry for their hard work and diligence in controlling the spread of Avian Influenza (AI). Through a continued coordinated communications approach, we can better safeguard animal health and ensure the economic viability of the poultry sector,” said the Honourable Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

“The critical need for an information sharing agreement was recognized during last spring’s avian influenza incidents,” said Dr. Gwen Zellen, Vice President of Quality, Technical Affairs and Sustainability. “It also recognizes the important role that industry plays in the management and containment of poultry disease.”

Access to precise and timely information regarding the location of a disease incident will enable CFO as part of the Feather Board Command Centre (FBCC) to partner with farmers, veterinarians, our value chain partners and government to prevent the spread of serious disease. In exchange, CFO will exchange information with OMAFRA on farm locations, chicken numbers and type of production of all producers within 10 km of an identified disease hazard.  

The Agreement also sets out the disclosure rules around the shared information and ensures that industry information is kept confidential and only used for appropriate animal health purposes. CFO worked with the FBCC to develop the information sharing agreement. This agreement will act as the template for future agreements with other members of the FBCC.

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Michael Edmonds
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