Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau toured the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Montreal in St. Hyacinthe, where she announced an investment of up to $8.24 million to the Canadian Poultry Research Council under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AgriScience Program Clusters.
This funding, which is in addition to an investment of $3.78 million from industry, will be used to develop new products and processes to address threats to the poultry value chain and improve poultry health and welfare. It also aims to develop best management practices at the farm level to improve food safety and reinforce public trust.
The project builds on the successes of two previous poultry clusters, and 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. The research is also expected to lead to improvements to the health and welfare of turkeys and laying hens, and 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 affecting the environment and greenhouse gases.
“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. 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.”
– Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
“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. 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.”
– Helen Anne Hudson, president, Canadian Poultry Research Council
- In 2017, Canada produced poultry and egg products worth $4.4 billion, contributing 7.1% of cash receipts to farming operations.
- The Canadian Poultry Research Council’s mission is to address its members’ needs through dynamic leadership in the creation and implementation of programs for poultry research in Canada.
- The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector. The Partnership includes programs and activities to enhance the competitiveness of the sector through research, science and innovation.
- This research cluster is funded through the AgriScience Program, a five-year, $338 million initiative, to support leading edge discovery and applied science, and innovation driven by industry research priorities.
- Three research activities under the cluster are being led in Quebec, including two at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at University of Montreal that look at vaccines and one in Laval University that examines optimal dietary minerals to ensure the well-being of laying-hens.