Poultry farmer pleads for help

CANADA - A Saskatchewan poultry farmer whose operation was hit by avian influenza went to the legislature Thursday to push his argument that governments should help pay for the costs associated with cleaning up.
calendar icon 27 December 2007
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The province's agriculture minister, however, said that he could offer little help beyond talking with Ottawa about the situation.

"No. 1, we don't feel that this is a provincial responsibility," Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud told reporters after question period. Bjornerud said it is the federal Canadian Food Inspection Agency that primarily responds to an outbreak of avian influenza and provides compensation related to the value of the birds that are destroyed.

As for the cleaning and disinfecting that's required once the birds have been disposed of, the minister pointed to the 2004 outbreak in British Columbia where it was the poultry industry that helped foot those bills.

But Bjornerud said his office has contacted the office of federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz to talk about the situation in the Regina area.

However, farmer James Glen said he would like both levels of government to contribute to help cover the hefty costs associated with disinfecting in the aftermath of avian influenza.

About 50,000 birds were euthanized and then disposed of under the watch of CFIA after the virus was found in September at the Regina Beach area Pedigree Poultry.

Source: Canada.com
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