Dear fellow poultry producers;
The BCPA’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and the Rapid Response Committee have been working together with the BC Ministry of Agriculture and the CFIA to develop procedures and teams to deal more effectively with and to reduce the impact of any future AI outbreaks. It is even more complicated this year because all our procedures and SOPs must be modified to meet COVID restrictions.
The rapid and coordinated approach to containing AI is dependent upon poultry producers, allied trade and association staff being able to participate in the process. We have been advised by several health experts that our involvement in an AI outbreak will hinge upon individual producers having gotten their annual flu shot.
The BCPA urges all poultry producers to get their annual flu shot this fall when they become available. There are several reasons:
1. They are free to all poultry producers and their families
2. It takes two weeks for the flu shot immunity to develop. During an outbreak, the lack of flu shots may result in a two week delay before producers can help with the outbreak.
3. Anyone working on a rapid response team (humane destruction, biocontainment, surveillance, movement control) is under the jurisdiction of the CFIA and requires a flu shot.
4. With the COVID outbreak, it is even more important to get the shot.
I urge you and your family to take advantage of the annual flu shot this fall. Have the shot for your family health and so we can all be prepared to take a strong and rapid response in a future AI outbreak.
Please contact me if you have any questions.
Steve Heppell, BC Poultry Association