The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal by Nadeau Poultry of St-Francois in its ongoing fight with rival chicken producers that are planning to open a competing plant.

This is the latest legal setback faced by the embattled poultry processor in its fight that started in 2008.

Nadeau was hoping to reverse a lower court ruling in its battle with poultry producers planning to open a competing plant.

In 2008, some New Brunswick chicken farmers decided they wanted to stop selling birds to Nadeau and open their own processing plant.

The farmers' company, Westco, partnered with a Quebec company, Olymel, to build their own plant down the road from St-Francois, in the village of Clair.

And while that plant's been under construction, the farmers have been shipping their chickens to another Olymel plant in Quebec.

That has left Nadeau with no guaranteed supply of chicken, leading to layoffs at the plant.

Nadeau has argued that under Canada's supply management system, those chickens had to stay in New Brunswick for processing.

A federal competition tribunal disagreed, and the Federal Court of Appeal upheld that. That made the Supreme Court Nadeau's last chance to win a guaranteed supply of chicken.

But the top court said on Thursday that it won't hear the case, a decision that is putting Nadeau's future in doubt.

Nadeau's been processing some chickens from Nova Scotia, but that will end next June when a plant opens in that province.

Meanwhile, Westco said its plant in Clair will open later this year, and it has promised to hire Nadeau's employees.