Canada raises maximum pay for destroyed birds

by Bryan Salvage
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OTTAWA – New updates to the schedule of maximum amounts payable for compensation to owners of birds ordered destroyed for disease control purposes are being applauded by Chicken Farmers of Canada, Turkey Farmers of Canada, Egg Farmers of Canada and the Canadian Hatching Egg Producers. Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz made the announcement at a reception organized by the poultry groups.

The newly revised maximum compensation amounts are effective immediately and will be published in Canada Gazette II on March 30.

Payments for broiler breeders range from $24 to $60 per bird; meat chickens range from $8 to $20 per bird; and meat turkeys from $35 to $70 a bird. There is a new category for laying hens called “chicken for egg production” with a new maximum established at $30. Under the old regulation, they would have fallen under a general chicken category at $8 per bird, a spokesperson from Egg Farmers of Canada told MEATPOULTRY.com.

“Keep in mind, these are maximums and compensation is provided only if the Minister orders a flock destroyed, which he is entitled to do under the Health of Animals Act,” she concluded.

In the event their flocks must be destroyed, the newly enhanced compensation program will help lessen the economic and social impact on poultry farmers. It also represents the culmination of extensive consultation between industry stakeholders and government. "The new compensation figures better reflect the different market values of an egg-laying hen, a breeder bird and a meat bird," said Peter Clarke, chair of Egg Farmers of Canada.

"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," said Mark Davies, chair of Turkey Farmers of Canada. "Compensation values that reflect the true market value of a bird are a logical next step in this process."
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