Detect, Control and CFIA

Detecting Disease in your Flock

Ensure (don’t presume) workers are knowledgeable in recognizing signs of possible disease. Talk to them about what they should consider to be warning signs of a possible health issue. Write a standard operating procedure (SOP) to ensure everyone involved in the farming operation follows the same evaluation process. Ensure each member of the team signs off on having reviewed the information by using a dated form.

Observe your birds’ production levels, behaviour, clinical signs and feed and water consumption daily. Early detection of a disease is vital to minimize its impact and its containment to a single premise or individual production unit. Record treatments and mortalities.

Transporting and application of manure should comply with provincial environmental regulations/guidelines to help mitigate spread of disease beyond the farm gate. Loads should be covered when transporting. Manure should be stored on the farm if an infectious disease is suspected.

The Importance of Rodent Control should Not be Underestimated

In one year a rat deposits 25,000 droppings, a mouse 17,000. Even a small population of these rodents may severely contaminate feed supplies. Flies are also a frequent carrier of disease and have been shown to travel up to 1½ km from farm to farm.

Implement a pest control program; wild birds and rodents may carry infectious disease or contaminate feed supplies.

  • Develop a barn sanitation protocol;
  • Screen all ventilation inlets and exhausts;
  • Screen ledges which could be used as nesting sites;
  • Clean up feed spills;
  • Maintain bait stations including records of locations and bait consumption;
  • Minimize vegetation and debris around facilities including stagnant pools of water; and
  • Maintain a minimum 1 metre apron of crushed stone/gravel around the perimeter of barns to deter rodents.

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The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) have regulatory authority that requires reporting to them certain diseases. They may apply movement and quarantine restrictions and order depopulation in certain circumstances.

Federally reportable diseases are outlined in the Health of Animals Act and Regulations. The law requires immediate notification to CFIA of the presence of an animal that has or is suspected of having one of these diseases.

Provincially, immediately notifiable diseases are outlined in the Animal Health Act and Regulations. Animal health laboratories are required to report positive test results for immediately notifiable diseases to the office of the Chief veterinarian for Ontario (CVO).

Veterinarians are also required to report significant health issues in a flock. If you suspect your flock is infected with a reportable or notifiable disease, contact your veterinarian immediately. Your veterinarian will contact the CFIA district veterinarian or the office of the CVO. Disease response will be determined by the regulatory body.

Examples of Reportable Diseases in Poultry Include:

• Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

• Velogenic (Highly Pathogenic) Newcastle Disease

Salmonella gallinarum

Salmonella pullorum

Get prepared by:

Working with your veterinarian to have a “disease response plan” in place for suspected cases of contagious or reportable diseases. A disease response plan should include triggers for activating the response plan, the required contact list and initial actions.

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Information on Avian Influenza

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The 2004 Avian Influenza outbreak in BC cost the economy $380 million in a 5-month period.

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