Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Local News

Poultry Plentiful 

Survey indicates 92 per cent 'trust' farmer's handling of avian flu

Released by the BC Poultry Assn/Linked in photo of Michel Benoit


ritish Columbians love turkey and eggs every holiday season, and this year is no different, according to industry experts.


The industry representing poultry farmers who raise chickens, turkeys, eggs and broiler hatching eggs, want consumers to know that poultry supply in BC is not an issue this holiday season.


"We've been working hard to ensure that turkeys are available to everyone who wants one for their holiday dinners," says Michel Benoit, General Manager of BC Turkey Farmers, "We've supplemented our stock with turkeys from other provinces and prices will remain stable. So everyone can continue to enjoy this festive time of the year."


The industry also notes that poultry and egg products from BC are safe to eat.


"We want to reassure the public that yes, poultry and egg products are safe to eat," says Ray Nickel, President of the BC Poultry Association. "Health Canada has stated there is no evidence that consuming poultry or eggs can transmit the avian influenza virus to humans."


Nickel adds, "Continue to handle poultry products in a hygienic manner as you normally would – cooking them to the right temperature and cleaning work surfaces and washing your hands after handling the products."


Results from a national survey released today by the Canadian poultry and egg industry show that 92 per cent of British Columbians trust that the Canadian poultry and egg industries are doing all they can to contain the current avian influenza outbreak. In addition:

• 94 per cent of BC residents have eaten poultry and eggs since the outbreak.

• 92 per cent of British Columbians plan on eating the same amount of poultry and eggs as they did before the outbreak, indicating that avian flu has not deterred them from their normal consumption habits.

• 80 per cent of BC residents are not concerned about catching avian flu from eating poultry and eggs, while 77 per cent are not worried about catching avian flu in general.

All poultry and egg farmers and their supporting organizations have been working diligently with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), as well as other federal and provincial governments and agencies, and are being extremely vigilant in practicing strict biosecurity protocols to protect their flock and prevent further spread.


Moreover, the primary control zones placed by the CFIA only applies to the poultry and egg farms, their flocks and their workers, visitors to these farms and people with pet birds. It does not impact the general public living or driving in those areas.


For more information on the avian influenza, please visit the CFIA website at: www.inspection.gc.ca.


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