The governments of Canada and Ontario are supporting a project that will build and strengthen the capacity for the chicken industry to effectively and humanely manage chickens in emergency situations.

The governments have committed up to CA$350,873 in cost-share funding to the Chicken Farmers of Ontario, working alongside the Ontario Broiler Hatching Egg and Chicken Commission and the Association of Ontario Chicken Processors under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (the Partnership). This project will deliver a third-party service that ensures chickens are handled in a humane manner during emergency situations such as a disease outbreak or barn damage from fire or extreme weather.

"The Government of Canada is committed to helping Canada's poultry sector proactively seek out new and innovative solutions to challenges faced by the industry," said Marie-Claude Bibeau, federal Minister of Canada's Agriculture and Agri-Food agency. "Investing in emergency preparedness and management strategies helps support the Ontario poultry farmers in their efforts to raise healthy, productive and well-cared for animals and ensure a strong and sustainable path forward for the sector."

 "Emergency situations are a reality on farms. It's important to our government to make sure that if and when those emergencies happen, farmers have a system in place to humanely deal with the animals involved," said Ernie Hardeman, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. "We're pleased to be able to help Ontario's chicken farmers strengthen their capacity to manage emergencies by supporting this project through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership."

"Our industry is committed to the highest standards of animal welfare. This innovative, collaborative, industry-led service will strengthen our effective risk management strategies and further enhance animal care," said Ed Benjamins, chair of Chicken Farmers of Ontario. "We thank Minister Hardeman and Minister Bibeau for this support and partnership as we work together to enhance our emergency response services, and continuously improve biosecurity and animal welfare on our farms and throughout our industry."

This project falls under the Protection and Assurance stream of the partnership, which supports livestock and poultry farmers in Ontario to be competitive, productive and profitable while managing animal health and food safety risks.