Countries place restrictions on N.S. poultry over avian flu
Canada's animal health status has changed to 'not free from AI,' CFIA says
Several countries have put restrictions on Canadian poultry, especially from Nova Scotia, after avian flu was detected in the area.
In a news release on Wednesday, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency stated it had notified the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) regarding the finding of high pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 in a commercial poultry flock in Nova Scotia.
As a result of this detection, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said Canada's animal health status has changed to "not free from AI."
Countries and regions that have now imposed trade restrictions on Canadian poultry include Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Africa, South Korea, the Philippines, the U.S., Mexico, the Russian Federation, Japan and the European Union.
N.S. exports small number of chickens
The restrictions vary from covering products only from western Nova Scotia to covering all live poultry, poultry meat and eggs originating from anywhere in Canada.
For example, the Philippines, which typically receives 23 million kilos of chicken from Canada, has put restrictions on live poultry, poultry meat and eggs from any province.
The Philippines is the second-largest importer of Canadian chicken, next only to the U.S., according to a spokesperson with the Chicken Farmers of Canada.
The association said Nova Scotia exports a very small number of its chickens every year — about 0.1 per cent, most of it dark meat. Canada as whole, meanwhile, exports eight per cent of its yearly one billion kilos of chicken.
Nova Scotia's chicken production makes up just over three per cent of Canada's total chicken production.
Turkeys, eggs are largely for domestic market
The Turkey Farmers of Canada said it produces predominately for the domestic market, but named the U.S., South Africa and member countries of the Economic Community of West African States as other important markets for exporters.
In 2021, 14 per cent of Canadian turkey was exported, and most of it was turkey cuts. A spokesperson for the group said "we don't believe any Nova Scotia turkey would reach the export market."
A spokesperson for the Egg Farmers of Canada said there are more than 1,200 regulated egg farmers and families in the country whose operations produce more than nine billion eggs a year, on average.
"Egg production in Canada is for domestic use," wrote Elissa Zaks in an email.
Zaks said there are 25 licensed producers in Nova Scotia.
Nova Scotia confirmed its first case of avian flu at the start of February. The case was found in a wild goose in Grand Desert, N.S.
On Friday, 12,000 turkeys at a commercial barn in western Nova Scotia had to be euthanized after avian influenza was discovered at the farm.
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With files from Kayla Hounsell and Emma Smith