Chicken Farmers of Ontario (CFO) is pleased to announce the signing of an Information Sharing Agreement with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The Agreement will allow for the mutual sharing of information to help control or eradicate a suspected or confirmed federally reportable animal disease incident or outbreak. It is believed that Chicken Farmers of Ontario is the first livestock industry sector in Canada to establish an information sharing agreement with an agency of the federal government.

"This ground breaking agreement represents several years of work by the respective staffs of the two organizations," said Henry Zantingh, Chair, 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."

This information sharing agreement will allow for the exchange of data between the organizations and will greatly advance the capacity of the Ontario chicken industry to respond to and recover from serious infectious disease incidents. 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.

"This agreement helps advance CFO's enterprise risk management framework and will enhance our ability to plan our mitigation strategies in the future," said Rob Dougans, President and CEO, Chicken Farmers of Ontario.

The Agreement also ensures that industry information shared with CFIA is protected and only used for disease control purposes. CFO worked with the Feather Board Command Centre (FBCC) to develop the information sharing agreement. This agreement will act as the template for future agreements with other members of the FBCC.