What to Do

  • Contact your board staff person;
  • Phone the 24-hour emergency hotline (for broiler producers):
    1-877-SOS-BYRD (767-2973);
  • Discuss the situation with family members and staff;
  • Enhance all biosecurity measures:
  • Ensure that a visitor log is in place;
  • Block entranceway to CAZ to prevent unwanted traffic or access;
  • Minimize visits to other poultry sites and avoid exchanging equipment with other poultry sites;
  • Clean and disinfect vehicles and equipment that access the affected site;
  • Inside the affected barn, all personnel with contact to poultry should wear boots, protective suits, head coverings, N95 mask, gloves and disinfect hands; and
  • Consider packing the above supplies together as emergency packs.

If a federally reportable disease is detected on your farming operation, CFIA personnel will come on site. They will implement a quarantine zone around the property and conduct a premises investigation. At the initial visit, they will work through a lengthy questionnaire with you requesting:

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Step 1 is to notify your provincial board office and other industry personnel that a disease is suspected or confirmed.

  • Contact information for the owner of the premises, owner of the animals, and/or farm manager;
  • Complete physical and mailing address or the farm location;
  • A site plan of the farm;
  • An inventory of the types and number of animals on the property; and
  • A list of all visitors and animal movements on and off the farm property in the previous 14 days.

The list above is only a portion of the information you will be asked to provide. As part of your disease response preparedness, it is recommended you proactively compile this information to be readily available. There are several forms on the My Farm section of this site that will help you with this task.

Use the Templates Found in the My Farm section.

  • Use the farm map template to create a site plan for your farm; and
  • Create an Animal Inventory list. If the number of animals varies, put a population range in the appropriate fields; and
  • Create and update a digital Visitor log.

Emotional and mental health support may be required for owners and employees of flocks suffering high financial losses or requiring mass depopulation. Fatigue may put individuals at greater risk of making judgment errors and lowering the capacity to cope with stress.

For additional information and resources related to managing your mental health visit the Personal Injury, Mental Health and Unwanted Visitors section of this resource.

Your mental health Is health, be proactive!

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Poultry Disease Response Procedures

Use your Emergency Contact List of who to call and follow your General Procedures as well as the following:

List the factors that would trigger your disease response plan including thresholds for:

  • The number of animals showing signs of disease,
  • Your definition of “high” mortality rates;
  • Your description of a “significant” decrease in production, feed or water consumption

Check with your board for their definition/thresholds for high mortality/morbidity/production loss rates. If you have different triggers for different production groups, clarify each group’s benchmark triggers and ensure you have them documented.

List specific clinical signs that would automatically trigger activation of the disease response plan including:

  • swelling of the head, eyelids, comb, wattles, and legs
  • decreased egg production
  • sneezing, coughing or nasal discharge
  • white pasty excrement
  • sudden death without clinical signs
  • lack of appetite
  • diarrhea with other symptoms
  • lack of coordination

Symptoms described above may appear individually and not as a group of symptoms.

Steps or Actions that should be taken and, if applicable, Who is Responsible: 

  • Call your flock veterinarian and clearly explain all symptoms, number and age of affected birds, and any treatments undertaken;
  • Service unaffected barns first or dedicate a specific farm worker to the affected barn(s);
  • Stop all animal movements off and onto premises, just not the affected species. Other animals also have the potential to spread the disease;
  • Inform all family members and employees of the situation;
  • Restrict movement of people, equipment, and vehicles on and off farm. Ensure that footwear and vehicles leaving the property have been cleaned and disinfected;
  • Contaminated bedding, animal products, deadstock, manure, or feed should be maintained on the farm.

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Notify the provincial board office and other industry personnel that a disease is suspected or confirmed.

Reportable Diseases

An initial diagnosis is performed by the laboratory where samples were submitted. If there is a suspicion of a reportable disease, the laboratory informs CFIA and OMAFRA. Additional sample collection and flock inspection is performed by CFIA. Samples are submitted to the National Foreign Animal Disease for disease confirmation and virus/bacteria serotyping.

If a disease diagnosis confirms a reportable disease, CFIA will be informed by the laboratory and takes the lead. Follow the directions and recommendations of the regulatory agency but do not hesitate to ask questions. If they have not already been informed, update your service industry representatives and your board office of the diagnosis and the measures undertaken for containment.

Euthanasia & Proper Disposal

Every farm member should be trained on proper euthanasia techniques, including manual cervical dislocation. There should be regular maintenance of any equipment used to euthanize large birds, e.g. Zephyr Gun. Write down maintenance procedure, train those who will do it and record each time it is completed. Keep a maintenance record/log.

Should a reportable disease be identified in your flock, proper deadstock management protocols should be followed. Seek guidance from your marketing board representative, CFIA or OMAFRA>

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