New compensation caps finalized for destroyed poultry

Chicken and turkey producers whose birds are ordered destroyed in any future disease outbreak can now expect improved rates of federal compensation.

Previously-announced changes to the federal Compensation for Destroyed Animals Regulations have already taken effect but were fully released and published Wednesday.

The amendments raise the maximum amounts of compensation to “better reflect… the true market value of poultry.” For example, a destroyed chicken that had been raised for egg production would have been worth up to just $8 in compensation, until now, the government said.

That chicken, which previously fell into an “all others” category, is now in a separate category of chickens raised for egg production and the top compensation in that category is now $30, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said in a release Wednesday.

Egg farmers’ parent breeder chickens now qualify for up to $60 per bird in compensation, up from the previous cap of $18. Grandparent breeders for egg production are worth up to $120 each in compensation, up from $60.

Destroyed parent breeder chickens for meat production are now worth up to $60 each in compensation, up from $24. A grandparent breeder chicken for meat production is worth up to $100, up from $75.

A “primary” breeder chicken raised for foundation breeding stock but destroyed for disease control also now gets its own category of compensation, capped at $1,200 per bird.

Top compensation in the “all others” category of chickens is now $20 per bird, up from $8.

Turkeys

Meanwhile, the three existing categories of compensation for turkeys ordered destroyed also all have new maximum payouts, with meat birds worth up to $70 each (up from $35), parent breeder birds worth up to $250 each (up from $90) and grandparent breeder birds worth up to $700 each (up from $270).

A fourth category of compensation has been added for primary breeder turkeys raised for foundation stock, with maximum per-bird compensation of $1,050.

Ducks, geese and pigeons are not included in the current regulatory amendment, CFIA noted Wednesday, but consultations with producers of those species of birds are “ongoing.”

The same “market-based model” of compensation will be used to see if adjustments are needed for those species, the agency said.

The revisions published Wednesday follow two incidents of avian flu on poultry farms in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley in 2009, after which “it was deemed necessary to review the method of determining market value for poultry.”

CFIA again emphasized compensation is an “important tool” to encourage early reporting of animal disease outbreaks. It’s expected that the upwardly revised payment caps will “reduce the potential economic impact” of a large-scale outbreak.

The new caps came about through consultation with members of Canada’s five national supply-managed poultry and egg producer associations — and with the Canadian Livestock Genetics Association, which led to the new categories for primary breeder foundation stock, CFIA said.

The amended regulations don’t touch the caps for other livestock such as $2,500 per animal for cattle, $2,000 per hog, $600 per goat, $300 per sheep, $35 per meat turkey and $250 per honeybee colony, among others. Registered breeding stock in most cases are eligible for higher rates.

Caps on compensation for companion animals (dogs, cats), fur animals (mink, fox), lab animals (rats, rabbits, guinea pigs) and other species, where ordered destroyed under the Health of Animals Act, also remain unchanged.

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