Small Scale Meat

The Ministry of Agriculture has issued a General Order under the Animal Health Act that:

1) All persons responsible for chickens and turkeys in commercial operations regulated by one of the
    a) the BC Broiler Hatching Egg Commission;
    b) the BC Chicken Marketing Board;
    c) the BC Egg Marketing Board;
    d) the BC Turkey Marketing Board; and

2) All persons responsible for ducks or geese in commercial bird and egg production operations,
where the population of birds is equal to or greater than 100.
In this order, “Poultry” means the chicken, ducks, geese, or turkeys in the above-listed commercial

Action: All live commercial Poultry in commercial operations must be maintained indoors for the
period starting April 13, 2022 and ending at 11:59 p.m. on May 13, 2022, unless otherwise modified
by the further order of an inspector.
For certainty, the above required action does not limit the sales, transportation or slaughter of
Poultry, or the disposal of Poultry carcasses.

More info…
***PLEASE NOTE***We are requesting clarity on the definition of “commercial operations” and advocating for small-scale producers as we are aware that compliance with this order will be very difficult for most of our members. We will be in touch as soon as we have more information. In the meantime, please take all possible precautions. There are some very good resources listed below for pasture based operators.
On April 12, a sample from a broiler farm near Enderby was confirmed to be Avian Influenza (AI) by the CDC lab in Burnaby and the sample has been sent to the national lab in Winnipeg for confirmation that it is Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI).  All producers within a 10 km radius of the farm have been notified.
SSMPA will be in touch with additional information for small-scale poultry producers as it becomes available.  Please read on for resources from BC Poultry Association, BC Ministry of Agriculture & Food, American Pastured Poultry Producers Association and more. 
AI can be transmitted directly from bird to bird through secretions and feces, and indirectly through human movement, contaminated feed, water, and equipment. Due to the threat and risks associated with AI, increased attention has been drawn to the ongoing need to protect domestic poultry through the effective use of on-farm biosecurity measures. 
It is imperative that all producers follow the Red Biosecurity protocols to reduce the risk of spreading the disease. These protocols include those in the linked guide, but please refer to Protect My Flock – Biosecurity Guide for Non-Supply Managed Poultry for more details.  
 Below are some clinical signs that could indicate HPAI. It is important to understand that these signs are not definitive, as other diseases may present the same signs.  If you suspect your flock may be affected by AI, please contact your veterinarian for further assistance. Do not remove or transport dead birds off your farm without veterinarian approval. 
Higher than normal death rate (not associated with other events)
Sharp reduction in feed and water consumption
Birds become very quiet
Respiratory problems: difficulty breathing, coughing, sneezing, snicking
Discharge from eyes and beak
Neurological signs: difficulty walking or twisted neck
Sharp drop in egg production
Swollen combs and wattle or bluish/purplish color from lack of oxygen
Swelling around the eyes
Premises ID information is used to plan for and manage emergencies affecting livestock.  There is no cost to participate in the program, and registration is becoming mandatory in 2022.  For more information please visit: Premises ID – Province of British Columbia.

For more information about the disease and detections in Canada please visit: Avian influenza (bird flu) – Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
For information on AI specific to pastured poultry production, please visit: HPAI Resource Center for Pastured Poultry Growers – American Pastured Poultry Producers Association.
Other Resources:
Wild Birds & Avian Influenza – BC Ministry of Agriculture & Food
Small Flock Poultry Health: Disease Prevention and Good Management – BC Ministry of Agriculture & Food
Animal Health Surveillance Information for Smallholders – Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System
Disease Alerts Tool – Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System
How to prevent and detect disease in small flocks and pet birds – Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Biosecurity and Disease – Poultry Industry Council
Upcoming Events:
Poultry Industry Council Small Flock HPAI updates every Tuesday at 3:30 pm PST
Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System Events Listing
Please take all possible precautions and take this opportunity educate yourself in order to protect your own operation and indeed, the industry as a whole. We will provide more information as it becomes available. We realize that this is a stressful time for many of you and would like to remind you that we do have a number of mental health resources listed specifically for agriculture on our website. We encourage you to have a look and take advantage of the programs available to support us through these challenging times.