The Government of Canada is supporting the work of the Canadian Poultry Research Council (CPRC) with an $8.24 million contribution, provided under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP), and AgriScience Program Clusters.
The financial backing will be in addition to $3.78 million invested by the poultry industry. Funds will go towards addressing threats to the poultry value chain; improving poultry health and welfare; and developing best management practices at the farm level to improve food safety and reinforce public trust.
According to a news release, the project builds on two previous poultry clusters. It is expected to result in the development of alternatives to antibiotics through research on antimicrobial use and resistance, as well as healthier and safer products by the poultry food chain.
“Funding for the third poultry science cluster allows the poultry industry to conduct research projects that reflect the priorities of the industry and Canadian consumers,” says Helen Anne Hudson, president, of the CPRC.
“The Canadian poultry farmers are constantly evolving their production practices in response to these priorities which include: the enhancement of the health and welfare of the animals, improving food safety, development of innovations in antimicrobial alternatives and vaccines development, as well as research in preserving the environment and long-term sustainability of the poultry industry in Canada. As part of the cluster, funding will also be used for knowledge and technology transfer to farmers and other poultry value chain members such as input suppliers, processors and the retail component of the industry.”
The research is also expected to lead to improvements in the health and welfare of turkeys and laying hens, and to maintain the long-term viability of the poultry value chain through improved bird production, virus benchmarking, development of precision agriculture tools, and controls on effluents from production operations.
“Our Government is committed to helping Canada’s poultry sector maintain consumer trust and stay on the cutting edge by finding new and innovative solutions to challenges faced by the industry,” says Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This funding will play an important part in ensuring that the sector is able to continue to grow sustainably and do more to meet high consumer demand.”