Biosecurity Standards

BC Poultry Biosecurity Program

Consistent biosecurity measures minimize the likelihood of poultry diseases from being tranferred from and to other egg farms. BC is the only province in Canada to-date with mandatory biosecurity standards for the entire poultry industry. These standards came into full effect at all regulated BC poultry farms by 2008.

For more information please see below:

Risk and the BC Poultry Industry  

On April 5, 2004 the Federal Government announces the depopulation of all birds in the Fraser Valley as a result of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) outbreak. There was a profound economic and social impact on all levels of the poultry value chain in BC.

  • Over 14 million birds depopulated from 410 farms
  • Over $60 million paid in compensation for destroyed birds
  • Over $100 million spent in costs to manage and eradicate
  • Over $300 million lost in economic activity
  • Over $ 3 million in direct costs borne by the industry for clean up
  • Millions lost on imports and exports of poultry products
  • Loss of consumer confidence in the safety of BC poultry products
  • Challenge to the value added processing sector in maintain retail and other final market sales
  • Pain and suffering of poultry families whose lives were affected is incalculable   

In 2014 there was a second HPAI occurrence since 2004. In addition the poultry industry was impacted by two Low Pathogenicity Avian Influenza occurrences in 2005 and 2009. There has been also been an increase in Avian Influenza discoveries globally since the early 2000’s.

What’s at Stake for the BC Egg Industry?

The BC table Egg industry is a significant contributor to provincial gross domestic product. Based on 2011 data the BC table egg industry generates approximately 440 million in economic output, 130 million in GDP that includes egg graders and breakers, farmers and other related and induced economic activity. 

The BC table egg industry directly supports approximately 2,200 well-paying jobs with a further 300 in related industries. Approximately 19 million in taxes are generated directly and indirectly by the BC table egg industry. Today the stakes may be higher as the table egg industry has increased in farm gate value by 20 percent since 2011. The recurring nature of notifiable avian influenza (NAI) reinforces the industry and government perspective that both should be managing for the “when” not “if” NAI is discovered.

Lessons Learned         

The 2004 NAI outbreak and the continued incidence of NAI set the foundation for the BC poultry industry in partnership with both provincial and federal governments to take a proactive approach to becoming prepared for and be better able to manage disease outbreaks.A Risk Analysis Steering Committee was form early in 2006 on behalf of the BC Poultry Industry Advisory Management Committee for the purpose of undertaking a poultry industry risk analysis and a proactive risk management strategy. Members included Agriculture and Argi-Food Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, BC Ministry Of Agriculture and representatives from the Industry both primary and processing sector. Funding was provided by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia.

The industry has worked collaboratively to:

  • Define and assess the risks to the poultry industry in BC
  • Define and assess options to manage the risks
  • Design and test an industry emergency response system to dovetailing with the federal/ provincial Joint Emergency Operations Centre
  • Consider enhanced surveillance systems to shift prevalence testing to early to early detection of NAI
  • Design an insurance –based product to address residual financial risks from NAI…. and
  • Design and implement mandatory biosecurity protocols for the regulated poultry sector  

Biosecurity Standards

The BCEMB  adopted the BC Poultry Biosecurity Program  on January 17, 2011 and incorporated  such standards in Board Orders. Every egg producer shall comply with codes, standards, rules and requirements contained in the program.The Boards auditors have the power among other powers to inspect records, request information or documentation for purposes of assessing the degree of compliance, and issue corrective action requests.

The Board has the power to suspend and cancel the licence held by a producer holding layer quota by reason of a failure to comply with a corrective action request issued by the auditor. The BC poultry industry leadership has demonstrated a resolve that is unprecedented in the Canadian agriculture sector; a resolve to take ownership and responsibility and for managing disease risk.    

How Disease is Spread

Transmission often occurs due to multiple farm exposure, frequency of interaction and accessibility into barns through breaches of biosecurity. It is the routine step-by-step practices and procedures in a poultry facility that are critical to the successful prevention of a disease outbreak.

Source Contamination: Animals, feed, water, eggs and manure can become contaminated by direct contact with an infectious organism.

Transmission: the disease causing organism is transferred from place to place by the movement of contaminated people, birds or equipment. Also included here are dust and wind transmission of feathers & dust.

Vector (Traffic)Transmission: Physical transfer of the organism by rodents, wild birds and insects (flies, beetles), wind and water. It is strongly recommended that public traffic  be carefully controlled or eliminated.

General Principles of Biosecurity

Biosecurity refers to an overall program that uses a combination of physical barriers (objects/fencing, etc.) and directed actions (through people) in a specific way that should prevent the introduction of, or limit the spread of , infectious disease causing agents (bacteria & viruses) into a group of susceptible poultry.

2014 Biosecurity and Corrected Action Reports (CARS) in sections:

100 farms are identified as having completed biosecurity audits. 88 audits are listed in the report due to multiple farms operating under one Premise ID #. All audits are identified by Premise ID#. All Corrective Actions Requests (CARS) are complete for 2014.

Summary: 2014 BC Biosecurity Audit (Vancouver to Hope)

  • 115 farms in catchment area
  • 100 audits conducted
  • 60 audits completed no CARS
  • 40 audits completed with CARS
  • 15 farms not audited due to NAI outbreak

Vancouver Island audit report and summary - Coming Soon

BC Interior audit report and summary  - Coming Soon