The Canadian government is investing CA$400,000 (US$313,900) for the development of a technology that would provide an alternative to antibiotics in poultry production.

Michelle Rempel, minister of state for Canada’s Western Economic Diversification, announced the funding on July 14. The investment will enable the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) to develop and commercialize a novel technology that delivers an immunity-boosting aerosol protectant to chickens as an alternative to antibiotics.

This project supports a multi-regional partnership with poultry farms based in Saskatchewan and British Columbia, and engages highly qualified personnel in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia as well as industry associations from both Alberta and Saskatchewan.

“The poultry industry is a major force within the Canadian economy. Our government is proud to support the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine in developing an alternative to antibiotics that will address a significant productivity issue for the poultry industry,” Rempel said.

Karen Chad, vice president of research at the University of Saskatchewan welcomed the announcement.

“Based on years of research, U of S veterinary pathologist Dr. Susantha Gomis and his collaborators have developed an innovative idea for treating bacterial infections in chickens that will provide Canadian poultry producers with another effective tool in their flock health kit,” Chad said. “It’s exciting research that will have significant impact in strengthening Canada’s agriculture industry.”