Sylvain Charlebois: Let’s Talk Turkey About Avian Flu

1 month ago 16

Commentary

Avian flu surely deserves much media attention. The avian flu presently impacting our poultry assemblage has go a existent problem. Unlike erstwhile strains, the existent bird flu has dispersed crossed Canada, raising fears that it could go endemic successful chaotic birds, nary less. A nightmare.

According to the latest news, much than 60 farms are nether probe successful Canada. Avian flu has infected astir 200 farms, with implicit 3.6 cardinal birds, this twelvemonth alone. That’s a batch of inventory that ne'er reached the user market.

Of course, retail prices person been heavy impacted by the flu for months. In the United States, for example, eggs are up by much than 40 percent since past year, a record. The script is not overmuch amended successful Canada, wherever proviso absorption and our quota strategy typically stabilize the equilibrium betwixt proviso and demand. Eggs successful Canada person accrued by astir 20 percent successful immoderate regions, the largest yearly summation successful 50 years.

For meat, it’s the aforesaid thing. The summation successful the terms of chickenhearted and, of course, our vacation turkey whitethorn startle some. Chicken is up 17 percent connected mean successful Canada. For turkey, the summation exceeds 20 percent successful definite regions, particularly wherever avian flu affects galore farms.

It’s a harmless stake that your eggs, chicken, and adjacent vacation turkey volition beryllium much costly successful a fewer weeks. Moreover, if you program to big a meal that includes turkey, it’s amended to bargain it now. Prices volition surely summation successful the coming weeks.

The avian flu has besides reached different continents, specified arsenic Europe and Asia. The existent strain is highly pathogenic and tin dispersed astatine an unmanageable rate. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency precocious said it believes migratory birds are liable for the dispersed of illness successful Canada. If the flu is transmitted done chaotic birds, astir nary poultry cognition volition beryllium immune, and hazard absorption volition beryllium virtually impossible. And much metropolis dwellers person backyard chickens now, which tin lone summation risks.

But dissimilar 20 years ago, the coordination betwixt the national agency, provinces, and producers is overmuch better. Stakeholders learned from their past mistakes and got informed astir this flu; otherwise, the existent outbreak would person been worse.

The 2004 carnage successful British Columbia’s Fraser Valley is simply a bully example. A full of 42 commercialized farms and 11 poultry houses were affected 18 years ago, prompting national authorities to bid the wide culling of astir 17 cardinal birds. It was a disaster.

This year, contempt a much virulent strain, 275,700 birds person been infected with avian flu successful the state truthful far. Not truthful bad, but still, that’s astir $20 cardinal worthy of chickens irradiated due to the fact that of the flu.

But vertebrate flu has been threatening the manufacture for months, and the unit for immoderate growers has go unbearable. There is nary different remedy, nary vaccine for birds. Researchers are present mobilizing to perchance make a vaccine for birds. The hazard of this epizootic microorganism turning into a zoonosis, a quality epidemic, is inactive real.

No quality cases of avian influenza person been detected successful Canada to date. There person been immoderate elsewhere, but not successful Canada. Let’s anticipation that doesn’t change. It should besides beryllium noted that avian flu poses nary nutrient information hazard to consumers.

To help, we tin bash our part. In 2019, earlier determination were borderline restrictions for poultry and eggs, astir a 4th (24 percent) of Canadians took a time travel by car to the United States, according to our data. Among this group, 1 successful 10 (11 percent) study bringing eggs oregon earthy poultry to Canada. Huge. It is present amerciable to bring poultry and eggs from the United States, truthful don’t beryllium tempted to bash this. These products correspond a hazard for our producers.

Better bargain your turkey and eggs here, with bid of mind.

© Troy Media

Views expressed successful this nonfiction are the opinions of the writer and bash not needfully bespeak the views of The Epoch Times.

Sylvain Charlebois

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Dr. Sylvain Charlebois is elder manager of the agri-food analytics laboratory and a prof successful nutrient organisation and argumentation astatine Dalhousie University.